A BURGLAR stole a pair of rugby boots worth £7,000 signed by South Africa’s 2019 World Cup winning captain following a break-in at a business centre.

Suzanne Westlake took the valuable memorabilia, which had Siya Kolisi’s signature, as well as a suitcase full of autographed international jerseys.

She and an unnamed man raided and ransacked an office on Newport’s Enterprise Way on December 14, 2020, prosecutor David Pinnell said.

He told Cardiff Crown Court: “A considerable quantity of champagne was stolen as well as iPhones, an iPad, a suitcase full of signed international rugby shirts with a total value of £4,000, and a pair of boots signed by South Africa’s World Cup captain.

South Wales Argus:

Suzanne Westlake


“The loser in the case said the last item was worth at least £1,500 and that a tentative bid of £7,000 had been made for them.

“A conservative estimate of the total value of the items stolen is in the region of at least £10,000.”

Mr Pinnell added: “There was a significant loss to the victim and there was ransacking in the aftermath.”

Westlake was arrested at 3am on Christmas Eve after a concerned member of the public contacted the police.

She was seen acting suspiciously on Trinity Place in the Pill area of Newport.

Mr Pinnell said: “She was shining a torch into a Ford Transit van. Officers also found on her a hammer, goggles and a chisel.”

Westlake, 34, of Mill Parade, Newport, pleaded guilty to burglary and going equipped for theft.

The court was told the defendant had 27 previous convictions for 49 offences, mostly for theft.

Dan Griffiths, representing her, said: “She recently relapsed into taking crack cocaine which spiralled out of control and which is why she committed these offences.”

He asked for her guilty pleas to be taken into consideration.

Judge David Wynn Morgan told Westlake: “You were acting with someone more criminally sophisticated than yourself.

“There was a significant degree of loss to the victim and the property was ransacked.

“I hope you use your time in custody to rid yourself of the scourge of class A drugs.”

Westlake was jailed for 20 months and ordered to pay a £156 surcharge after her release from prison.