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Woman stole £7,000 of jewellery from victim at Swiss Cottage bookmaker

PUBLISHED: 11:57 18 March 2016 | UPDATED: 11:57 18 March 2016

Fiona Walsh pictured leaving Highbury Court.

Fiona Walsh pictured leaving Highbury Court.

Luigi Cianfarano

A thief who stole £7,000 worth of jewellery from a woman's handbag in a Swiss Cottage faces jail after the victim fought back and grabbed her purse.

Fiona Walsh, 42, of Taplow, Adelaide Road, stole a gold ring, two diamond rings and a diamond necklace while Janphen Phunprasat was collecting her winnings at the Coral betting shop, in Finchley Road.

When the victim noticed her bag had been opened she chased Walsh out of the shop.

After a tussle in the street Ms Phunprasat managed to grab Walsh’s purse before the thief escaped.

Walsh was quickly identified from the ID details in the purse and appeared at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court.

She changed her plea to guilty for a charge of theft after reviewing CCTV footage of the incident.

But Walsh disputes the value of the gems and the prosecution now has to provide proper valuations for a hearing next month.

Highbury Magistrates Court heard she has 68 previous convictions for offences including theft, dishonesty and possession of drugs.

On 6 January Walsh spotted that Ms Phunprasat had left her bag under a table in the Coral betting shop while collecting winnings from the cashier.

When Ms Phunprasat returned to her seat she noticed the defendant was looking at her bag while on the phone.

The victim then noticed her bag had been opened and chased Walsh out into the street.

Ms Phunprasat claimed four items of jewellery were snatched, including one gold ring worth £250 and a second gold ring with five diamonds in a line worth £2,500.

A third ring featuring 15 diamonds was worth £1,000 and a gold necklace with two large diamonds and 15 small diamonds on the clasp was worth more than £4,000.

Walsh admitted one charge of theft and will next appear in court for sentence on April 5.

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