A MOTORIST helped police solve a robbery in Mansfield after reading about it in the Chad, a court was told.
The driver was parked near Sainsburys when a man opened his door and offered him £20 for a lift into the town centre.
The man said he had some jewellery he wanted to sell in town.
Unknown to the driver, his passenger was marketing manager James Gill who had been drowning his sorrows after losing his job and had snatched a gold necklace from a 54 year-old woman’s neck.
Gill (29) admitted the robbery and was given a suspended prison sentence at Nottingham Crown Court on Friday.
His victim had taken her shopping bags to her car at Sainsburys on 28th June and put them on the ground.
“She felt a tug on the gold chain round her neck. It dug in then came off,’ said prosecutor Sheryl Loughney.
Fortunately, a pendant containing a stone fell to the ground. The piece of jewellery was valued at £975.
Gill ran off with the chain and was given a lift into town. He offered the driver a further £10 to wait for him and drive him back to the same spot.
Gill was spoken to there by two police officers, the court was told, but not arrested as he was not a complete match to the description given.
Six days later on 4th July, the motorist read in Chad there had been a robbery outside Sainsburys and reported his experiences to the police.
CCTV footage showed Gill running away and when interviewed he accepted it was him.
He named the jewellers where he had sold the stolen chain but it was not recovered.
Christopher Lacey, in mitigation, said Gill had spent a lot of money in the pub and had none left.
He had been on medication but had stopped taking it and now had the offer of a good job.
The judge, Recorder James Elsom, said he treated Gill as a person of good character, who had met a set of ‘extraordinary circumstances’ in his life.
He had a good history of employment and had shown clear remorse.
The sentence was 12 months’ suspended for two years, with 200 hours unpaid work. He also has to pay £1,200 compensation to his victim for her loss and distress.