A MAN arrested over the theft of a £9,000 Rolex watch told police he had found it in a bar, a court heard.
Shawn Booth was ordered to do 50 hours of unpaid work after pleading guilty to theft of the watch which was seized by police during a money laundering investigation.
Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, told Leeds Crown Court the Rolex had been stolen from a man during a violent robbery in 2012.
The prosecutor said the watch was not recovered until July 2014 when Booth was arrested on suspicion of committing a money laundering offence. Mr Ahmed said Booth was wearing the watch when he was arrested.
Police were able to trace the watch back to the victim of robbery. Booth, of Rayneville Road, Bramley, was arrested on suspicion of theft and told officers he had found the watch in a bar.
He also said he believed that the watch was a fake and would have handed it in if he had known it was real.
The court heard Booth, 30, was subsequently cleared of money laundering charges after a trial. He pleaded guilty to theft in relation to the watch.
Mr Ahmed said Booth had pleaded guilty to the theft on the basis that he had found the watch but had not handed it in. The prosecutor said the basis of the plea was accepted by the Crown. The court heard Booth has previous convictions for drug offences dating back to 2004.
Joanne Shepherd, prosecuting, said Booth worked as a plasterer and his partner and three children would suffer if he was sent immediately to custody.