Vivian Berwick stole hundreds of pounds from friend

York Press: Neighbour stole hundreds of pounds from friend Neighbour stole hundreds of pounds from friend

A MAN stole hundreds of pounds in cash from a friend and neighbour who entrusted him with house keys so he could feed his pets while he was away.

Vivian Berwick, 60, admitted eight counts of burglary and two of theft from his long-time friend and neighbour Anthony Konscol’s home in Cawood.

Berwick left York Crown Court yesterday with a six-month suspended sentence and a four-month long electronic curfew at his new home in Thorne, South Yorkshire, where he moved after he said poster campaigns destroyed his reputation in the village.

The court heard Berwick and Mr Konscol had been friends for many years, and Berwick had house keys for emergencies and to feed his friend’s cat while he was away.

Mr Konscol caught his friend by hiding an iPhone, set to record, among the pans on his kitchen shelf, later installing CCTV in the house, prosecutor Matthew Collins said.

When Mr Konscol first noticed cash going missing he blamed other people – including a builder – and even thought he was “losing his marbles”, Mr Collins said.

In July this year he got home after an expedition to Mount Kilimanjaro and put 950 US dollars in a kitchen drawer, but days later found only 26 dollars were left.

Mr Konscol then started his surveillance and caught footage of Berwick rifling through drawers and taking money. Even after he asked his friend for the keys back, other neighbours reported Berwick had been spotted going into the house while Mr Konscol was away, Mr Collins said.

Sabia Ahmed, mitigating, said Berwick had taken full responsbility for the crimes and had subsequently been the subject of a poster campaign around the village, destroying his standing in the community.

Sentencing him, Judge Neil Clark said Berwick had stolen £300 in the ten days between July 29 and August 8 this year. “This man had trusted you, and whatever the reason you fell out you never had the right to enter his home and take from him,” he said.

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