Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting HT NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Hereford lawyer forgives client who burgled his home
Herefordshire’s longest-serving defence solicitor says he will continue to represent a client who broke into his home and stole silverware.
Matthew Kaye betrayed years of help and support when he broke into Anthony Weston’s home in St Owen Street last October to steal silverware from his ground floor office.
Anthony, a committed Baptist and lay preacher, had been representing 30-year-old Kaye at court hearings since his early teens. He had also given him cash to help through tough times, made him welcome in his home and took him to church services.
At Gloucester Crown Court last week Kaye, of Eric Brown Close, Newton Farm, Hereford, was given a suspended 38 week jail sentence and put on a 12-week curfew order.
He had pleaded guilty to burglary at an earlier hearing.
The court heard how Kaye claimed he had climbed into the office through a smashed window to confront a “real” burglar, and kept up that claim until forensics caught him out.
Judge William Hart said Kaye should feel ashamed of letting down a man who “deserved only kindness in return for the kindness he showed to you”.
Tim Hills, prosecuting, said Kaye had been taken under Anthony Weston’s wing since his teens.
The two went to church services together and Kaye was a guest at the Weston home on many occasions, receiving both financial help and “pastoral care”.
Kaye, the court heard, had called on the Westons on the day of the burglary asking for money and getting £5. Later, the Westons found the office window smashed and silverware stolen from the desk.
Graham Russell, defending, said Kaye had very little memory of the break-in committed when he “went off the rails” after four years free of offending.
In a victim impact statement read the court, 74-year-old Anthony said how “disappointed”
he would be if Kaye was the burglar having been both a client and friend for some years.
Anthony was at the back of the court to see sentence passed and shook Kaye’s hand as he left the dock.
Speaking after the case Anthony – who, with his trademark bowler hats and waistcoat suits with pocket squares has been a fixture of the county’s court scene for nearly 50 years – said he had forgiven Kaye and would willingly represent him again.