Janet : “We had all been out for an expensive lunch and had a few drinks , it was Keisha’s birthday so we had Champagne with our afternoon tea. We were all in good spirits laughing and joking and we went for a walk down the high street.
When we passed the jewellers Keisha burst into tears, I asked her what was wrong, why she was crying on her birthday. Keisha said she thought that Derek, her boyfriend of two years was going to propose to her on her birthday, she had been dropping hints and she thought that he had picked up on them. She opened her present and saw a jewellery box, she thought he was about to ask her but instead it was a cat broach. She started crying in front of him and he thought it was because she was so pleased with it. So to cheer her up, Nicola decided to take her into the jewellers to try on engagement rings so she could pick out her favourite one. We all got a bit carried away trying on our favourites and we were there about an hour in total.
After that we got into a taxi to go home, I was looking for my purse to pay towards the fare and I came across one of the rings in the bottom of my bag, one must have fallen in by mistake. I was shocked and I showed the girls and they were too. The assistant had been really busy and to be honest we didn’t help, we were loud and half drunk, she couldn’t have noticed one of the rings were missing. Nicola said the assistant might lose her job if we returned it, it would look like she didn’t do her job properly. So I gave the ring to Keisha and said “Happy Birthday” “.
Keisha : “It was my birthday and I was a bit upset as I thought my partner, Derek was going to propose to me. He gave me a beautifully wrapped present and he looked really pleased with it. I opened it slowly building up the anticipation and saw a small jewellery box, I nearly screamed as I opened it, I felt sick, it was a cat brooch; I was so disappointed I burst into tears in front of him. He thought I was crying because I loved the gift so much.
I had arranged a birthday lunch with the girls hoping to be showing off an engagement ring to them, I felt like cancelling but it was my birthday so I put on a brave face, re applied my make up and put on my new dress and a fake smile. We had an afternoon tea with Champagne, I’m afraid I knocked it back a bit and we ordered two bottles of prosecco when we had finished it. We were all a bit wobbly and loud by the time we left the restaurant.
We walked down the high street and as we passed the jewellers I saw an engagement ring display in the window and I couldn’t help myself, I burst into tears. The girls were shocked and asked me what was wrong and I told them about my disappointment with Derek. Nicola insisted we went in and tried on the rings to cheer me up. The sales assistant was busy and the shop crowded we were there about an hour in total. I tried on a lot of rings and took a few pictures on my phone of the rings on my hand.
We got in the taxi and about fifteen minutes into the journey I looked at my hands and realised I was still wearing the last ring I had tried on. I suggested we turn the taxi around but Nicola said we could get the assistant in the jewellers in trouble. The girls sang happy birthday to me and I kept the ring.
Nicola : We were out having lunch for Keisha’s birthday and the girls suggested a bottle of Champagne. I only had one glass but the girls knocked it back quickly and also drank a couple of bottles of prosecco.
After lunch we walked down the high street and Keisha started crying when we got outside the jewellers. We found out it was because her boyfriend Derek had not proposed to her and she had been dropping hints. I tried to steer her away from the jewellers as I thought this would make her more upset but she insisted on going in and trying on the rings. The sales assistant was rushed off her feet and I was aware we were wasting her time as she would not have got a sale from us. I continually tried to get them to leave but Janet was telling me not to be a spoilsport and that it was Keisha birthday and that she deserved to try on rings.
Eventually after about an hour we left. In the taxi on the way home the two of them were giggling together, I asked them what was so funny and Janet said Keisha has got her engagement ring after all. Keisha wiggled her finger at me and I spotted a gold ring with a circle of diamonds, I recognised it as one she had tried on in the shop. I was shocked “You stole that ring from the shop” I shrieked “We need to take it back, the poor assistant will be sacked for not noticing that ring going missing” but the girls ignored me and told me that the ring was insured and to stop being a spoilsport. I told them the shop probably has cameras and they would be in a lot of trouble. I told them they needed to return it and I got out of the taxi and didn’t have any more to do with the incident.
Judge : After listening to all of your conflicting stories, I have reached the following conclusions. Nicola you were not involved in this theft you were caught up in the circumstances. Janet you were an accomplice, you saw Keisha steal the ring and either ignored it or encouraged it. I feel probably the latter. Let this be a warning to you.
Keisha I believe you were disappointed at not getting the engagement ring you had set your heart on and affected by the alcohol you decided to steal one. The ring was worth £2,800, this is a serious amount of money. As this is your first offence you will have a six month suspended sentence and eighteen hours of community service. I hope you have learned a valuable lesson from this and that it will be the first and last time you steal anything.
Keisha burst into tears and covered her face with her hands. People started to file out of the court. Nicola left quickly and Janet ran to catch her up “Nicola what were you playing at? That was not the way it happened and you know it”. Janet’s face was hard “That’s the way I saw it and it’s over now so if you will excuse me”. Nicola dismissed her, walked away towards Derek and slipped her arm around his waist. Janet ran after her a second time “Nicola what the hell are you playing at with Keisha’s boyfriend?” she shot Derek a look of disgust.
“Me and Derek have been friendly a while now, he doesn’t want someone with a criminal record, he wants to get on in life so he is ending it with Keisha, see you around” With that Nicola walked towards Derek’s car and climbed into the passenger’s seat, leaving Janet open mouthed in shock not for the first time today.