Hartlepool drug addict banned from seeing his own mother for five years after stealing heirloom jewellery

A drug addict who robbed his mother of jewellery she inherited from his grandmother has been jailed and banned from contacting her for five years.

Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 6:11 am
Updated Tuesday, 29th October 2019, 10:47 am

Ex-soldier Mitchell Laidlaw, 31, pawned the diamond and gold jewellery worth £3,000 he stole from her Hartlepool home and he spent the cash on his crack cocaine addiction, Teesside Crown Court was told.

Prosecutor Jenny Haigh said that he had been a problem to his mother since he was 13, but she lost touch with him when he was 17 and he joined the Army.

She added: “In 2019 he got back in touch and he said that he had changed and he was no longer taking drugs.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The case was heard at Teesside Crown Court.

“He said that he had mental health problems and she invited him to stay. He stayed for seven weeks, but she became concerned and she got him a flat.

”She paid off various debts for him, but then she found that several items of jewellery were missing.

”She challenged him and he handed her a quantity of papers from a pawnbroker. She said that she had no real contact with him after taking back his house keys.”

His mother said in a Victim Impact statement: ”I gave him £500 to buy a car but I think he used it to buy drugs.

”I became very frightened of living with him, even though he had moved out I was very frightened of him.”

She added: “He took the pieces of jewellery that had a very high sentimental value to me.

”I no longer want him to be part of my life. I never want to hear from Mitchell again.”

Simon Walker, defending, said that Laidlaw’s addiction costs him his £500 a week job as a fabricator with a Peterlee company, and he had helped to recover some of the jewellery.

He added: “In prison he had been working with the Drugs and Alcohol Recovery Team, and he realised the distress that he had caused to his mother.”

Judge Peter Armstrong told Laidlaw: “You are going to have to work extremely hard to regain the trust that she had in you. You let her down and you let yourself down.”

Laidlaw of Wynyard View, Hartlepool, who appeared over a videolink from Durham Prison, was jailed for 10 months and given a five-year restraining order banning him from contacting his mother after he was found guilty in his absence of theft.