Feb 24 2012 by Annette Belcher, Solihull News
A FURIOUS jeweller who had over £12,000 worth of rings snatched from his Solihull shop has slammed a judge’s decision to allow the thief to walk free.
Steven Quance, of Steven Charles Quance Jewellers, told the Solihull News this week he feels justice has not been done after crook Dean Hollis was handed a suspended prison sentence.
Hollis was given a six month suspended jail term after he admitted stealing four bands from a display cabinet in the Touchwood shop, on September 26 last year.
It was several hours before staff noticed the valuables were missing but police were able to identify the thief on CCTV.
However, none of the rings have been recovered and Hollis has been told to pay just £2,500 compensation.
The 41-year-old businessman said: “This has been absolutely devastating for us. I have built this business up from nothing for my family and we could not afford for this to happen.
“Times are hard and people are not buying as it is, particularly jewellery. It is hard to sell something that is seen as a luxury.
“I am really disappointed in the sentence. We are out of pocket yet he [Hollis] gets to walk free - where is the justice? I just think it is completely unfair and it sends out the wrong message.
“I am finding it hard to draw a line under what has happened.
“It would have been closure for me if justice had been done but that has not happened.”
Hollis, 28, of Somery Road, Weoley Castle, was sentenced at Warwick Crown Court last week.
He took the rings to pay off a drugs debt, the court was told. He was also ordered to take part in a drug rehabilitation course.