A HOMELESS man who stole jewellery and cash from a Good Samaritan who offered him a place to stay was branded as “despicable” by a judge.

But Jordan Lockett was spared a stint behind bars when Judge Niclas Parry learned how his victim, charity volunteer Ruth Fleming, wanted the defendant to get help.

Lockett, 24, appeared at Mold Crown Court for sentencing after he admitted the theft of rings and cash in euros from Mrs Fleming’s Broughton home.

“This was a despicable offence. This lady cared for you and saw you were in need,” the judge told Lockett as he suspended his 12-month custodial sentence for two years.

“She offered you nothing but kindness and a place to live and you abused that by taking from her valuable items. She has been desperately let down, but remarkably she still finds it in her heart to want to help you.

“She recognises that you are the kind of person with mental health issues that should be helped despite all these circumstances.”

Prosecuting barrister Jemma Gordon said Mrs Fleming met Lockett when she was volunteering at a soup kitchen in Chester last August.

She allowed him to stay at her home on an “on and off” basis while he was looking for permanent accommodation of his own.

But while she was away in Oxford on June 6 last year he called her asking for a key code to enter her property.

When she returned she noticed a wallet containing euros was missing and money had gone from her kitchen.

She discovered a number of rings, some of sentimental value, had also vanished.

“When she contacted Lockett he said he had taken items to a pawn shop in Chester. The shop told her they had been sold four rings for £182 which matched the description of hers,” said Ms Gordon.

In all the total value of the cash and jewellery taken came to £3,893, but those items of the greatest value were not recovered.

Lockett admitted the thefts but couldn’t remember much about his actions as he told police he was under the influence of drugs at the time.

Defence barrister Simon Parry said that Lockett was “thoroughly ashamed” by his behaviour and added: “He acknowledges he let down the person who provided him with very significant assistance.

“After he was first interviewed by police he contacted Mrs Fleming to tell her what he had done.”

The barrister said Lockett had endured a difficult upbringing and noted: “The vast majority of his time since he was 18 has been spent living homeless.”

Lockett was also told to complete 180 hours of unpaid work as well as 10 rehabilitation activity days. He must also complete 20 days of an offenders’ programme.

The judge ordered no compensation against him as he recognised the defendant was “destitute”.