7:00am Saturday 11th January 2014
A DRUG dealer snatched two diamond wedding rings worth around £5,800 from an Oxford jewellers and ran out of the shop.
Ben Matthews, of no fixed address, admitted carrying out the theft from Ernest Jones in Cornmarket Street, Oxford, on November 13 last year.
The 27-year-old had been released from prison after serving a sentence for selling heroin and cocaine in Oxford in 2012 — but is now back behind bars for a further 12 months.
Jehad Mustafa, prosecuting, said the serial offender walked into the Clarendon Centre store and pretended to be interested in buying rings worth £3,300 and £2,500.
When the shop assistant showed them to him, and allowed him to try them on, he snatched two and ran out of the shop.
Matthews was seen on CCTV and arrested by police.
He was carrying £2,000 worth of drugs and £1,000 of cash, both of which were confiscated by the police.
Mr Mustafa said the defendant had been jailed for three years in May 2012 for dealing Class A drugs, and has previous convictions for robbery and possessing a bladed weapon.
Hugh Williams, defending, said Matthews stole the rings, which have never been recovered, to pay off the £2,000 drug debt.
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