Man spared prison for receiving stolen items

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Igor Frescata was initially arrested after having been found with a small amount of cannabis before a subsequent search of where he was living uncovered a number of stolen items of ‘great sentimental value’.

The 33-year-old said that he had been given some of the items by a friend who had since died and that he had found or bought others. In delivering the Royal Court’s sentence on Friday, the Bailiff, Sir William Bailhache, told Frescata that this explanation had been viewed with ‘some scepticism’.

Among the items were war and sporting medals dating back to the 19th and early 20th centuries, a gold engagement ring and a telescope.

The court heard that Frescata and a friend had done painting work at the property a month before his arrest but that the defendant had denied stealing the items.

He was sentenced to 120 hours’ community service and was put on probation for one year. The Royal Court decided not to recommend Frescata for deportation.

Suggesting Frescata be jailed for 15 months, Crown Advocate Richard Pedley, prosecuting, said: ‘The monetary value of the goods was not substantial – the items, though, had significant sentimental value and could not be replaced.’

Advocate Pedley also advised that the court should recommend Frescata for deportation ‘in view of his offending’.

However, Advocate James Bell, defending, successfully argued that the defendant should not be jailed and should be allowed to remain in Jersey.

He told the court that Frescata had no previous convictions of any kind and had already served the equivalent of six months in jail on remand.

‘Mr Frescata does acknowledge that these items had sentimental value,’ Advocate Bell said. ‘Fortunately this is a case where the items have been returned to their rightful owner.

‘He wants to express his apologies to the lady and to the court.’

He added that a 15-month sentence would be ‘excessive’ and told the court that the 33-year-old had a good work record and was hopeful of securing a full-time job once again should he avoid jail.

Sir William said: ‘It has been said many times that if there were no receivers [of stolen property], there would be no theft. Receiving stolen property is a serious offence.

‘In this case we think the relevant factors are the obvious closeness you had to the primary offence, the high sentimental value of the goods and the fact that these goods were the proceeds of a domestic burglary.’

Sir William warned Frescata ‘don’t let us see you again’, after sentencing him to community service.

Jurats Geoffrey Grime and Robert Christensen were sitting.

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