A CLEANER who stole a wealthy couple’s trust by stealing thousands of pounds worth of property from their home, including their eight-year-old son’s savings, has been jailed.
Even turning up at Warwick Crown Court with a 2,000-year-old coin her victim’s great-grandfather had carried throughout the First World War did not save crooked Maxine Ferran from custody.
Ferran had denied stealing from Cliff and Paris Bradley while working as a cleaner at their village home near Warwick.
After being convicted by Warwickshire magistrates, 47 year-old Ferran of Kitwell Lane, Bartley Green, Birmingham, was committed to the crown court, where she was jailed for 18 months.
The court heard previously Ferran had worked for the Bradleys for about two years when they began to suspect she was responsible for items going missing from their home.
Their confirmation came when Mr Bradley saw a photo on Ferran’s Facebook page of her wearing a missing pair of his wife’s earrings – so he contacted jewellers in the area with details of other missing items.
He discovered Ferran had been trying to sell a mounted Alexander the Great coin, dating back to around 200BC and which had been worn as a fob by his great-grandfather throughout the First World War.
When David Johnson at Rex Jewellers in Birmingham city centre was offered that and a pair of cufflinks also made from ancient coins, he asked Ferran to return after he had had time to investigate their value.
The police were informed, but Ferran failed to return to the shop after spotting a police car parked outside.
When arrested, Ferran denied being responsible for any thefts from the couple, which she maintained during her trial.
As well as the coins, which had massive sentimental value for Mr Bradley because of their link with his great-grandfather, Ferran had stolen other jewellery, including the earrings she was pictured wearing on Facebook.
Her haul had totalled property worth some 7,000 and also included Versace handbags, mobile phones, video games, and cash – even including their young son’s savings from his bedroom.
When Ferran had first been due to be sentenced, it was said by her barrister that she claimed she had nothing to do with taking the treasured heirlooms, and the case was adjourned.
And at the resumed hearing Ferran turned up with the coin and cufflinks, which were handed back to Mr Bradley, and Judge Sylvia de Bertodano commented: “I’m very pleased about that. These things have an importance way, way beyond their financial value.”
Simon Hunka, defending, said: “There has been a significant degree of distress in having those items go missing, but a considerable relief to have them returned.
“It is terrible offending. I can’t say anything more about it than that. It’s an abuse of trust by an individual who has access to every nook and cranny in their home.”
He said Ferran had been married and had two children, but her husband had died five years ago, leaving her unable to pay the mortgage, and she and her son, then 15, had to move in with her police officer daughter.
She now has rented accommodation where she lives with her son, who was a bright student but quit his course and, now 20, suffers from agoraphobia and panic attacks.
Jailing Ferran, Judge Sylvia de Bertodano also imposed a restraining order prohibiting Ferran from contacting the Bradleys in any way indefinitely.