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Last Updated: Monday, 27 March 2006, 13:22 GMT 14:22 UK
Security guards jailed for theft
Swansea Crown Court
Both men admitted theft at the crown court hearing
Two men with 50 criminal convictions between them stole almost 100,000 worth of items from a jewellers they were sent to guard, a court has heard.

A judge questioned how Philip Hurlow, 21, and Anthony Durston, 19, from Mayhill in Swansea, got the jobs.

The pair, jailed for two years after admitting theft, were employed by Pilot Security to guard the shop and claimed the firm knew about their records.

But Pilot Security has denied this and said the men had provided references.

Janet Gedrych, prosecuting, told Swansea Crown Court that Hurlow had 10 convictions, including one for handling stolen goods.

Durston had 40 convictions for arson, theft, criminal damage, handling stolen goods and aggravated vehicle taking.

It is bizarre. How did these men get the jobs in the first place?
Judge John Diehl

He was the subject of a community service order for previous offending when Pilot Security sent them to the Ernest Jones jewellery shop at Swansea's Quadrant shopping centre.

Within hours they had found a key to the safe, the court was told.

The following morning they waved goodbye to staff arriving for work and walked away with Rolex watches, rings and 400 in cash.

Hurlow's fingerprints were found inside the safe and eventually the pair confessed.

Hurlow's barrister Kevin Riordan said: "Pilot Security clearly knew about his previous convictions.

"It is a breach of trust - but by Pilot Security."

'Brazen theft'

Stephen Rees, for Durston, said: "It is amazing they were given the jobs in the first place.

"He told them he had been guilty of crime in the past and that he had been into custody. It did not seem to concern them."

Judge John Diehl was told all the jewellery had been recovered.

He said: "It is bizarre. How did these men get the jobs in the first place?"

"It was a brazen and hefty theft.

"There is a law now about the licensing of security firms and this case is one reason why."

Speaking after the hearing, a spokeswoman for Pilot Security said neither of the men disclosed their criminal convictions when applying for a job and both provided references.



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