Woman jailed after handling over £12,000 worth of puppies stolen from Derbyshire home

A woman was jailed yesterday for handling stolen goods after coming into possession of five stolen puppies worth over £12,000.

By Tom Hardwick
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 1:59 pm
They had arranged to meet a man for a viewing of a 10-week-old French bulldog puppy advertised at £2500. Image from Pixabay.

Derby Crown Court heard how Fiona Harmer, 33, went with a friend to an address on Kinross Avenue, Derby on February 19 last year. They had arranged to meet a man for a viewing of a 10-week-old French bulldog puppy advertised at £2500.

Stefan Fox, prosecuting, said that shortly after the 10 minute viewing, when the breeder had left, the house was burgled and five french bulldog puppies worth £12,500 were stolen.

Harmer pleaded guilty to handling stolen goods, admitting that she had possession of the puppies for a short while before they were moved to another location.

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Derby Crown Court

Mr Fox said: “The prosecution accept her basis of plea that she did not open the window in the bathroom, and she is not charged with burglary - others came with the puppies and asked her to look after them.

“She was assaulted by one of the burglars, and helped the owners find the puppies by giving them their location, from which they were retrieved.”

Recorder Steven Gasztowicz QC jailed Harmer, now of Parkhurst Road, Islington, for 18 months - with half of that to be served in custody and half on licence.

He said: “These goods were not ordinary goods but puppies - you assisted in handling five French bulldog puppies.

“I accept you only had them for a matter of hours and you’re not charged with being involved in the theft, and I also accept that you cooperated to an extent and enabled the dogs to be recovered.”

Gary Short, mitigating, said that Harmer had a difficult childhood, but was now clean of Class A drugs and looking towards education and employment.

“She had a harrowing childhood - no child should have to suffer what happened to her, and this has led to a diagnosis of PTSD. She has finished a course of antidepressants, and this is the first time in a long time that her mental health is stable.

“She completed a methadone reduction programme, and it is even more impressive that she completed the tail end of that programme during lockdown with no support whatsoever - she is clean of the addiction that ravaged her adult life.

“She has completed the application process for a college course, and was successful in her first interview. For the first time in her adult life, she has started to look towards education and gainful employment- she wants to change and is doing all she can to change.”