A SOUTH Tyneside woman has escaped jail after handling stolen jewellery and pawning it for more than £1,000.
Gemma Campbell reported an alleged assault by her partner a week after a burglary at a house in Hartington Terrace, South Shields, on February 10.
When officers turned up to investigate, they found two jewellery boxes stolen from the burglary in her wheelie bin
Further inquiries revealed that Campbell, 29, had pawned the jewellery at a shop in Newcastle for £1,340.
Kevin Wardlaw, prosecuting, said: “The house was unoccupied, with access being gained by breaking a shard of glass in the kitchen door and using keys which were left in the other side of the lock.
“A number of items were stolen including cosmetics, cash, electrical goods and some Asian jewellery.
“She denied responsibility, but stated that a drug dealer had taken her to the shop to pawn the jewellery. She was under pressure.”
Campbell, of Ingham Grange, Westoe, South Shields, pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods.
Judge James Goss QC told Thomas Laffey, defending: “I accept she was under pressure and therefore I am prepared to suspend the sentence.
“What she needs is to be away from that type of person.” Mr Laffey replied: “I have nothing to add.”
Judge Goss told Campbell: “You are a prolific offender. This offence of handling property stolen in a serious dwelling-house burglary is as serious as you can commit.
“Anyone who involves themselves in pawning jewellery stolen from a house can expect a prison sentence.
“In the light of your early plea, and the circumstances of the offence, I am prepared to suspend the sentence.”
Judge Goss sentenced Campbell to nine months’ imprisonment suspended for 12 months.
She was also given supervision and ordered to complete a drug rehabilitation programme.