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Gloucestershire Business News

Almost £40,000 ring stolen from Cirencester jewellers

A 42-year-old Romanian man has admitted that he stole a £39,950 ring from a Cirencester jeweller's shop - but denied that he assaulted a member of staff in the process.

Speaking via an interpreter at Gloucester Crown Court, Alin Mijloc, who was not legally represented, pleaded guilty to stealing the diamond ring from Walter Bull and Son Ltd on March 27, 2018.

But he told the court that he had not assaulted or pushed anyone during the theft and Judge Martin Picton said that would be recorded as a not guilty plea on the indictment.

However, he said, Mijloc needs to instruct a solicitor to represent him before the case goes any further. He remanded Mijloc in custody until March 23, in the hope that by then he will have a lawyer.

At the start of today's hearing the judge said the firm of solicitors appointed to represent Mijloc had not attended court because they had not been able to secure funding.

The judge fixed a trial date of July 31, on the assault charge if Mijloc maintains his denial of the alleged offence.

Through the interpreter Mijloc, who was appearing at Cirencester Courthouse via video link from Bristol Prison, said "I stole it, I don't deny it.

"I gave it to the person who made me steal it. He took me there in order to steal the ring.

"He made me and my children work for four months for nothing. They are a dangerous family. They are like the Mafia.

"You have to go and check this family. They are dangerous here and in Romania.

"Yes, I went into the shop and stole the ring. I put it in my pocket and got out of the shop. But I have never been violent to anyone.

"No-one saw me when I stole this ring. You can check the CCTV while I am stealing it. I got out of the shop quietly, I didn't assault anyone.

"The shopkeeper didn't see me put the ring in my pocket. He showed me three or four rings and asked me which one I wanted but I had already stolen one while he was showing me them. It was already in my pocket. "

Prosecutor Neil Treharne said his instructions were that the CCTV did show the defendant taking the ring and assaulting a shop worker.

Judge Picton listed the case for March 23, and said Mijloc, who is of no fixed address, must be taken to that hearing from prison and will then hopefully be represented by the law firm he had previously chosen.

"In the meantime, we shall try to fix him up with Legal Aid," said the judge.

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