A THIEF who stole from the family he was house-sitting for has been given a two-year conditional discharge.

Dean Goodwin, 31, was asked by friends if he could look after their house while they were on holiday because they had recently been burgled and were fearful of it happening again.

But he betrayed their trust by stealing two drills and three rings from them and selling them to Cash Recycle to fund his drug habit, Bournemouth Magistrates Court was told.

Goodwin, of Oakmead Gardens, Bournemouth, pleaded guilty to two counts of theft and was given a 24-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay a total of £225 in costs and compensation.

Alison Saunders, prosecuting, said Goodwin was a long-standing friend of the family he stole from. “They had recently been the victims of a break-in and they asked him if he could stay in the property while they were away to keep an eye on it because of their recent unfortunate experience.”

She said when they returned and noticed the rings and drills were missing, Goodwin said he “felt responsible” because he had been looking after the property.

After the matter was reported to the police, it emerged Goodwin had sold the rings to Cash Recycle for £40 and then a week later sold the drills for £85.

“He made a full and frank admission,” she said. “He said he had sold them to feed his drug habit.”

Guy Gosheron, defending, said Goodwin was full of “very real remorse” for his actions. “In his own words, he is thoroughly disgusted by his actions,” he said.

“When he is not using drugs he is a man who is able to keep his nose clean, equally when he is on drugs, he does things he is ashamed of.”

He said Goodwin had been suffering from cancer and had endured 12 months of very intensive, high-strength chemotherapy. “But for all his problems he professes to me he's very motivated to deal with his drug problem,” he added.