Carer 'stole ring and watches from pensioners'
By The Bristol Post | Friday, September 20, 2013, 07:00
A CARER stole rings, watches and keepsakes from the elderly people he cared for, a jury has heard.
David Pike is accused of five counts of theft during his time working for Brunel Care in Clevedon.
At Bristol Crown Court, a jury was sent out at 3.17pm to consider its verdict against the 48-year-old, who denies the charges.
The court has heard how Pike had been a well-respected and popular carer, who looked after more than 180 people between November, 2010, and October, 2012.
However, he came under suspicion after people noticed valuables had gone missing from their homes and when police searched his car and his home on Strode Road, Clevedon, they found a number of items the prosecution claim belonged to the alleged victims.
Pike is accused of stealing a metal napkin ring, leather-bound volume of Shakespeare's works and a commemorative Globe Theatre coin from Doreen and Deryck Bell.
He is accused of stealing an engraved bronze life-saving medal, silver dollar coin and a brown leather pouch from Vivian Fryer.
Pike is also alleged to have taken a watch on a chain, a garnet and pearl ring and gold coin on a mount from Rosemary and Eric Tozer. He is accused of taking a Tissot wrist watch from centenarian Gilbert Gregory and a cigarette case and pestle and mortar from his daughter Rita Gregory, with whom he lives. The cigarette case, which had a built-in lighter, was a 21st birthday present.
Summing up the case, Recorder Ignatius Hughes QC said it was alleged some of the items had been sold on by Pike, who is a regular at car boot sales in Bristol and Somerset.
One of those items was the Tozers' rare 19th-century George IV £2 coin, which the prosecution claims he sold to jeweller Richard Searle for £200.
Experienced jeweller Mr Searle told the court he could remember buying a coin of a very similar description. He also bought a garnet ring from him for £20 and told the jury that on one occasion Pike, whom he only knew as 'Dave', came in to his shop in a carer's uniform pushing an elderly person in a wheelchair.
Pike denied this and said he could not recollect ever selling anything to Mr Searle for £200 cash.
Pike admitted he was a keen car boot sale visitor and would regularly buy and sell items. When asked to explain how valuables matching the descriptions of those missing ended up in his home or car, he said most, if not all, had been bought at car boot sales over the years.