A TEENAGER who stole a £4,000 diamond ring conned police into letting him have a toilet break when they came to his mum's house to arrest him, before escaping out of a bathroom window.

Burnley Crown Court head 19-year-old Qader Ali and a second man, who has yet to be identified, had gone to H Samuel Jewellers in Burnley on June 8 and told staff they were interested in buying a diamond ring for a woman one of them was in a relationship with.


Prosecuting, Cecilia Pritchard said staff at the store in The Mall noticed two Asian men enter around 3pm. One was said to be wearing a baseball cap and black top, whilst the other wore a flat cap and a grey top.

Ms Pritchard said: "The two men were browsing around the shop. They gave the impression they were looking for a ring for the partner of the male with the flat cap on. They asked to look at a number of rings from a range called Perfect Fit. They then noticed a ring from a ranged called Forever. They seemingly couldn't decide whether they wanted to buy it."

Ms Pritchard said the men left the store but returned 15 minutes later. The man in the grey top took photographs of the ring in the box on his camera phone and told staff he intended to send them to his partner.

The court heard the man said he couldn't get any phone reception so would have to go outside. The second man left the store a short time later and staff noticed the box containing the ring was closed. When they opened it they discovered the ring had been taken and called the police.

Ms Pritchard said a crime scene investigator found fingerprints belonging to Ali, of Granville Street in Burnley, on the counter.

Officers went to Ali's mum's house at 8am on June 26 and she answered the door. The court was told Ali was still in bed and officers went upstairs and told him he was under arrest on suspicion of theft.

Ms Pritchard said as he was still in his pyjamas Ali asked if he could got get dressed, a request which was granted.

She said: "He was then asking if he could use the bathroom. He was searched and police found nothing on him.

"He went into the bathroom. The police could hear noises from the tap. Mr Ali's mum was shouting for him to hurry up. The officers realised he was taking too long and went in to the bathroom. They noticed the bathroom window was open.

"The defendant had climbed onto the kitchen window and escaped."

The court heard Ali, who works at a bottle factory, handed himself in the following day and answered no comment to all questions asked during police interview.

Defending, Joe Boyd said his client knew the man he was with at the jewellers from Burnley town centre but didn't know his real name or address.

Mr Boyd said: "He accepts he went and distracted the shop assistant the second time. The ring was taken but he says he got nothing financially out of it.

"When the police arrived he said he panicked and went out of the window."

Ali, who appeared in the dock in handcuffs and had been in custody for 14 weeks before his sentencing hearing, pleaded guilty to theft and escaping from lawful custody.

Judge Beverley Lunt sentenced him to 120 unpaid work and warned him if he didn't fully comply with the order she would send him to prison.