A JEWELLERY thief who was chased by traders and allegedly attacked by them has been sent to jail.
Prolific offender Dean Langford was sentenced to three months in jail yesterday when he appeared before Kirklees magistrates.
He had attempted to steal £3,000 worth of rings from the stall at Huddersfield Open Market.
But the 32-year-old’s plan to sell the items on to make cash was immediately thwarted by other traders who tripped him up as he tried to flee the market.
Langford’s lawyer, Mr Mike Sisson-Pell added that his client had already received ‘summary justice’ after he was apprehended by 10 people in the market and repeatedly kicked.
He said: "My client’s legs are covered in bruises. He has a black eye and his hand has been badly broken where somebody stamped on it repeatedly.
"So to say that he has already received summary justice is putting it mildly."
Fishmonger Tommy Alexis, saw the incident unfold and told the Examiner:
" I just saw a young lad come running out of the market past my shop, being chased by at least three market traders in their 50s.
"He tripped up and he had blood on his head. The police arrived really quickly and he was led away."
Langford, of High Park Road in Leeds, appeared in court yesterday covered in bruises and with his arm in a sling following the incident on Saturday(Jan 28).
Paul Ramsay, prosecuting, said that the antique and second-hand jewellery stall belongs to Clifford Noble.
The 87-year-old is a familiar face at the market having rented the stall there for the past 20 years.
Mr Ramsay said that at just before 10am Mr Noble was setting up his stall, which has items displayed in glass cabinets.
He said: "He was rearranging the ring display and had opened the glass cabinet.
"While this was open Dean Langford was walking past. He reached inside and removed 36 diamond and gold rings."
However, as Langford ran away with the jewellery, he was tripped up and detained by other market traders.
They alerted nearby police and the rings were recovered.
Langford fully admitted the offence in interview, telling officers that he had intended to sell the items.
Mr Ramsay said: "He said he was walking through the market when he saw the cabinet open.
"When the guy was turned around he grabbed it and ran through the market.
"He saw somebody put their foot out and he was tripped."
Magistrates were told that Langford was a ‘prolific offender’ with 40 convictions for 109 offences to his name.
He was given a nine month prison sentence in September for affray and breaching a suspended sentence.
Mr Sisson-Pell, defending, said that his client had been living in a bail hostel since his release from prison two months ago and was struggling financially.
He said: "He saw the cabinet open and in a moment of madness and desperation he grabbed a handful of jewellery and ran. It was an opportunist crime and not premeditated."
Magistrates jailed Langford after slamming his ‘appalling’ record.