A BURGLAR "frittered away" a significant amount of money he'd stolen from a friend by feeding his slot machine addiction, a court heard.

Ian Edwards, of no fixed abode, appeared at Caernarfon Crown Court on Thursday for sentence via video link from HMP Berwyn.

The 58-year-old had previously admitted that on May 6, he entered a property in Woodlands Road, Froncysyllte, as a trespasser and stole a safe containing cash and jewellery worth £18,000.

Alexandra Carrier, prosecuting, told the court the victims, Marisa Sidoli and Michael Palin, returned to the property on the day in question to find the safe was missing.

Suspicions were raised about the defendant's potential involvement as he'd been seen "hanging around" in the days leading up to the incident.

He was also a friend to Mr Palin.

Officers went to an area of elevated woodland where he'd been seen.

He was found there, along with the safe - which had been forced open - and the jewellery.

Edwards admitted taking the money, which he needed for gambling, but claimed he had no need for the jewellery.

In a victim impact statement, Ms Sidoli said she found the incident extremely upsetting.

Ian Edwards (NWP)Ian Edwards (NWP) (Image: North Wales Police) It had come soon after the death of her mother, she said.

Edwards had 14 previous convictions for 29 offences - 15 of which were theft related.

Alun Williams, defending, told the court: "He was born in Wrexham and educated at Dinas Bran in Llangollen.

"After leaving school he worked as an electrical contractor, and in the mobile catering industry.

"He tells me he's a compulsive gambler, and he's been subject to that since the age of about 11."

Mr Williams said his client had reached out for help for the first time whilst in custody.

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Regarding the money he's taken, Mr Williams added: "He's addicted to slot machines.

"All of the money he'd stolen was frittered away in a short period of time."

Judge Nicola Saffman jailed Edwards for two years.