A distraught Ramsgate mum says her whole family has suffered after the man she was sharing her life with turned out to be a callous thief who systematically stole from her.
Bank worker Pam Prowse says she was devastated after discovering live-in boyfriend Robin Gaylor had been stealing her jewellery, including sentimental pieces from her father and even her late husband’s wedding ring.
The 62-year-old had no idea that her jewellery was being taken and even got her chef boyfriend to help her search her home for the missing pieces.
She said: “I had lived with him for a couple of years. I’d known him years ago and after my husband Antony died and I was back in Kent I kept bumping into him. Even my mum and her friend were bumping into him and he would ask about me. I feel like I was a victim, like he was watching and waiting.
“He was charming and everyone got on well with him, he pulled the wool over our eyes.”
‘In the jewellery shop window’
The truth came to light after Pam searched the house out for items including her late husband’s wedding ring and a chain, a bracelet bought by her father and made in Dubai and several other pieces.
She said: “I said to Robin I couldn’t find the jewellery and he kept saying ‘you know what you are like’ meaning I was forgetful but I knew it was in the house.
“Then one day my mum asked me to pick up something in town and I went past the jewellers and looked in the window and there was the bracelet my father had bought me when my children were very young.
“I went in and asked if it was second-hand and I asked who had brought it in but they couldn’t tell me as I didn’t have a police reference for it being stolen.
“I went home and told him I’d seen it and said I was going to search everything out again. He even helped me lift the bed and the mattress. He even said I’d probably thrown the jewellery out.
“I was really distressed, I thought someone had been in my house even though there had been no signs of a break in.”
‘I was just gobsmacked’
Pam called the police and reported the 10 pieces of jewellery missing. It was after officers left that Pam says the man she had trusted her life and her family with admitted that he had stolen them.
Pam said: “I asked him what he had got for it and then I told him to get out. I was just gobsmacked. You live with someone and you trust them. I lived with him and yet just didn’t know what he was doing. I trusted him with my life, with my family, and he was just taking my jewellery and even destroyed all the little bags that it had been in.
“It was so painful. I had to have counselling because I was so distraught and it has really upset the whole family.
“I do not want anyone else to go through this.”
Pam managed to get back some items but others are gone for good. She said: “They had such sentimental value, it’s like all those memories have been stolen too.”
Mr Gaylor, formerly of St Lawrence Chase, Ramsgate, was charged with the theft and sentenced at Margate Magistrates Court on October 5.
He pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and theft in a dwelling, other than an automatic machine or meter. He received a 12 month community order, was ordered to undertake 150 hours of unpaid work and ordered to pay £2,120 in compensation, a victim surcharge of £85 and costs of £85.