Man who stole rings from dead partner's fingers 'should be jailed'
THE family of a woman whose partner stole rings off her fingers after she had died have branded him a "disgrace" and called on a judge to jail him.
Philip Spencer, 51, took three rings from Christine Kirk's lifeless body after he visited her home following a morning drinking session.
Initially, he told police he took the jewellery to pay for her funeral but later changed his story, claiming he had wanted keepsakes.
After the inquest into her death, held yesterday in Hull, Mrs Kirk's daughter Sarah O'Reilly and son Steven Kirk said their grief had been compounded by Spencer's actions.
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Mrs O'Reilly, 39, said: "How could anyone stoop so low as to steal rings off the fingers of a dead person?
"If he had wanted money or something to remember her by, all he needed to do was ask.
"I told him, 'You said you were in love with our mum. But how could you have been in love if you stole from her after she had died?'
"Our mum would have been disgusted with what he did. She trusted him and considered him a friend."
Mr Kirk, 35, said: "He is a disgrace."
Spencer, who attended the inquest but sat away from the family, pleaded guilty to stealing the rings, as well as £130 in cash, at Hull Crown Court earlier this month. He is due to be sentenced next month.
Mrs O'Reilly added: "He is nothing to us.
"We hope the judge jails him."
Dr Ann Campbell, who carried out the post-mortem examination on Mrs Kirk, said she had died of a heart attack.
The doctor was unable to say exactly when Mrs Kirk – who lived alone in Marlborough Avenue, Hornsea – had died, but Spencer said he had visited her the day before he discovered her body on the afternoon of Saturday, May 19.
Two days earlier, Mrs Kirk collapsed while out celebrating her 58th birthday with Spencer and her family and friends in the town centre.
Paramedic Alex Windsor told the inquest he had been called to The Marine Hotel but Mrs Kirk had refused to go to hospital for more tests.
Mr Windsor revealed the results of basic tests he conducted on Mrs Kirk gave him no cause for alarm.
He said: "I could not explain what had happened to her but I thought it would be prudent for her to attend hospital. She declined."
Mrs O'Reilly added: "She was a good mum and is very sadly missed by all her family."
Coroner Geoffrey Saul recorded a verdict of death by natural causes.