Grangemouth drug addict stole jewellery from friend's dead body and sold it to pawnbroker

A Grangemouth addict stole jewellery from the body of her dead friend before selling it to a pawnbroker.

By Herald Reporter
Friday, 21st May 2021, 1:18 pm
Updated Tuesday, 25th May 2021, 5:21 pm

Catherine Maloney, 40, had been taking drugs with the man, Mark Hamilton, when he died at her home on June 4, 2019.

Maloney, of 159 Bowhouse Road, appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court yesterday (Thursday) having admitted stealing Mr Hamilton’s £199 necklace and £59 bracelet.

She had called police following the death at 11pm.

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Catherine Maloney, of Grangemouth, was spared jail when she appeared at Falkirk Sheriff Court. Picture: Michael Gillen.

When officers took possession of the body, the jewellery – worn by Mr Hamilton since they were “gifted” to him by his partner – was missing.

Procurator fiscal depute Becca Reid said: “The family expressed concern for the property.

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“The family suspected these items had been stolen following the death, prior to police arriving, as they were adamant he didn’t take them off his body.”

After carrying out their own inquiry, relatives of Mr Hamilton discovered the jewellery had been sold at Ramsdens in Grangemouth.

Ms Fraser continued: “On June 10, police attended at Ramsdens and retrieved the necklace and bracelet from a witness working there at the time who processed the transaction.

“The accused was the person who had sold them. She stated she had fallen out with her boyfriend and asked for her stuff back.”

The court was told Maloney was recognised by a Ramsdens worker as she had used an account in her own name which featured her bank card and photograph.

Mr Hamilton’s partner then identified the items based on a modification she’d had made to the bracelet. CCTV footage showed Maloney carrying out the sale and she was arrested.

Defence solicitor Lynn Swann told the court Maloney’s son died last April.

The lawyer also explained her client and Mr Hamilton had a “very extensive drug addiction”.

Ms Swann added: “She passed out. He passed away.”

Sheriff Christopher Shead said: “This is one of the many moral degradations when you abuse drugs – you steal jewellery from your dead friend's body.”

Maloney was made subject to a community payback order in which she’ll be supervised for 18 months.

She was also placed under a four-and-a-half-month restriction of liberty order which bans her from leaving her home between 7pm and 7am.

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