Jailed heating engineer stole £24k from customers to fund cocaine habit

Gavin Seager was jailed for 18 months at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday. 

Gavin Seager was jailed for 18 months at Ipswich Crown Court on Monday. - Credit: Suffolk Constabulary

A  “callous and mean” Suffolk heating engineer who stole cash and property worth £24,000 from customers while working in their homes to feed a cocaine habit has been jailed for 18 months.

Sentencing Gavin Seager, Recorder Graham Huston described the offences as “selfish and cruel” and said some of the victims were elderly.

He accused Seager of having no regard for the feelings of his victims, some of whom had lost jewellery of sentimental value which could never be replaced.

“People who allowed you into their homes and trusted you were callously taken advantage of and this can’t be ignored,” said the judge.

“I appreciate you were stealing to feed your cocaine addiction but it doesn’t detract from the meanness of the offences.

Seager, 43, of Lakeside Road, Ipswich, admitted nine offences of theft which were committed between March 2018 and May 2019.

Meyrick Williams, prosecuting, said the offences were committed at houses in Felixstowe, Ipswich, Mildenhall, Old Newton, Swanton Morley in Norfolk and Kent while Seager was employed by Warner Homes, Glow Green, Floheat and Greenscape heating engineers.

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He said one of the victims was a 71-year-old Mildenhall woman who had two rings worth £3,000 stolen at a time when she was looking after her husband after he had suffered a heart attack.

Seager had also stolen £1,000 cash from a woman who lived in Felixstowe and had taken jewellery, including her gold wedding ring, and foreign currency worth £16,500 from a woman who lived in Kent.

Seager had also stolen £800 cash and £1,700 worth of jewellery from a woman in Ipswich and two rings worth £450 from an 80-year-old Mildenhall woman.

Steven Dyble for Seager said that at the time of the offences his client had a £1,500 a week cocaine habit.

Since his arrest Seager had sought help for his addiction and he was now drug free.

He was still employed by one of the companies he’d been working for at the time of the offences and was considered to be their best engineer.

Mr Dyble accepted there was a degree of meanness to the offences and said Seager had expressed remorse.