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Ryan Whitmarsh-Ward and David Artiss jailed after stealing from Hampshire pensioner
A TRUSTING pensioner was burgled by two men he befriended and helped.
Alan Grantham, 65, had welcomed Ryan Whitmarsh-Ward and David Artiss into his home, found them work and had always helped them whenever he could.
But despite his kindness, his trust repaid by becoming their victim.
Whitmarsh-Ward and Artiss burgled his Hampshire home, stealing property including a valuable gold coin collection worth more than £5,000.
The pair, along with a third accomplice Adam Hodder, broke into the West End property while Mr Grantham was on holiday, taking laptops, a PlayStation, games and other electrical goods.
But they also took his prized commemorative gold coin collection that he was hoping to pass on to his family as heirlooms.
Whitmarsh-Ward was caught on CCTV selling the ten coins at a jewellers for half their true value. As they had been taken out of their cases they were sent off to be melted down and could not be traced.
Artiss was seen alongside him and also caught selling a PlayStation to a pawn brokers, prosecutor Berenice Mulvanny explained during the four-day trial.
All three men denied the burglary but were convicted by a jury and appeared at Southampton Crown Court to be sentenced.
Artiss, of Waterloo Road, Southampton, and Whitmarsh-Ward, of Sullivan Road, Southampton, were both jailed for two-and-a-half years. Hodder was jailed for 18-months.
In mitigation the defendants claimed the crime had been motivated by drug habits and that Hodder, of Spring Road, Southampton, had come into the plan as he was staying at the same hostel as Whitmarsh-Ward at the time of the burglary in February last year.
Artiss and Whitmarsh-Ward also admitted handling stolen goods and possession of cannabis with intent to supply. Whitmarsh-Ward also admitted possession of a class A drug. The court heard he committed the burglary six days after being given a community order for possessing a firearm.