A 23-year-old man who stole the roof of his grandmother’s house in Bradford has been jailed for nine months.
Daniel Marlow stripped tiles and central heating equipment valued at a total of £26,500, with the help of gypsies who took the haul away in a white Ford Transit van, Bradford Crown Court was told yesterday.
Janet Walsworth, 69, would never trust her grandson again after she generously handed him the keys of her home while he got over a relationship breakdown, it was heard Marlow’s father was alerted to the theft when he drove past the property, in Mortimer Row, Laisterdyke, and saw the damage, prosecutor Eleanor Fry said.
Marlow, now of no fixed address and forced to sleep on people’s sofas, pleaded guilty to theft on November 8 last year.
The court heard that Mrs Walsworth lent her grandson her home to help keep it safe while she stayed with his parents.
When police were called in, Marlow told officers: “It was me. I took the boiler and the roof. I sold them.”
In a statement read out in court, Mrs Walsworth said: “Words cannot describe how I feel. I am distraught that he could do this to me.”
Marlow’s barrister, Rodney Ferm, mitigating, said the theft had ruined his client’s relationship with his family.
“He was trusted by his grandma and he has broken that trust in a significant way,” Mr Ferm said.
Marlow decided that the central heating system, that did not work, had to go. It was removed by gypsies and he could not stop them taking the rest of the property.
“He made an unwise and dishonest decision and far more damage was caused than he ever anticipated,” Mr Ferm said.
Marlow was homeless, jobless, and now had no family ties.
Recorder Sophie Drake said Marlow’s grandmother had placed a high degree of trust in him. He had stripped her house of everything valuable while she struggled to sell it.
“Your family will, understandably, have nothing to do with you,” Miss Drake said as she jailed him.