Shropshire cleaner accused of stealing in row about inheritance

A cleaner accused of stealing more than £30,000 worth of goods from her employers claimed she was accused of being dishonest during a row about inheritance, the Shropshire Star reported this week.

Angela Evans is on trial accused of two counts of theft, both of which she denies. The cleaner worked for the late William Sykes at his home near Bishop’s Castle, and for his daughter Angela Loder’s family.

She left her job after being confronted about missing items—including a pair of silver candlesticks, a claret jug, a diamond pendant necklace, a silver fox, a brooch worth £25,000 and a diamond ring valued at £3,000.

Stolen items

Mrs Loder’s husband accused Evans of the theft. However, she claimed she was due to inherit £20,000 from Mr Sykes in his will. She is accused of selling some of the stolen items to a jewellery shop—an accusation she denies, though she admitted she had visited the shop in the past and sold jewellery to the owner.

She denied seeing the items that went missing from the farmhouse and said she was at work the day the items were taken to the shop to be sold.

Interviews conducted by the police were heard in court, in which Evans discussed the farm’s working arrangements. The security in place, she said, was rubbish, and that while she had a key to the house, the interior door was always open.

People ‘coming and going’

The statement from the first interview specified that various people worked there and “seemed to come and go” including farmhands and another cleaner. She said she had never seen Mrs Loder wearing broaches or much jewellery, and that she’d had police checks and never been found to do anything wrong.

Receipts handed over to the jewellery shop bore the signature Mrs Evans. Evans claimed in the police interview that the only items she had taken to the shop were her own to be sold or repaired and that she had not signed for any of the items she is accused of stealing, and that she always signed her name Angela Evans, not Mrs Evans.

She did say that she’s argued with David Loder when he accused her of being dishonest, saying that it was because he didn’t want her to inherit the £20,000 the late Mr Sykes’ will allocated to her, and added that she would never steal from Mrs Loder, with whom she said she had a good relationship or any employer.

Finders International is an award-winning probate research firm.  Our regulations and credentials include the IAPPR, Friends Against Scams, we are approved APSE partners and are the first probate research firm to be approved by the Chartered Trading Standards Institute (CTSI).  For a full list of our credentials, please visit our website here.  Alternatively, you can call +44(0) 20 7490 4935 or email [email protected]