A PIZZA shop manager befriended and then stole from a blind elderly couple.

Ruthless crook Lee Grocott complained he did not like how he was spoken to so he stole jewellery from the couple and then lied about it.

Judge Christopher Morgan, at Chelmsford Crown Court, heard Grocott runs a pizza takeaway in Harwich and six people will lose their jobs if Grocott is jailed.

He was also told Grocott’s newborn son is unwell.

The judge told Grocott he will have to prove his claims, given his long criminal record and history of deception,.

He delayed sentencing for a fortnight for him to bring in the paperwork to prove his claims.

Grocott, 34, of Victoria Street, Harwich, admitted theft from a home after asking what his sentence would be if he did.

Sasha Bailey, prosecuting, said: “The complainants are in their sixties or seventies and were blind from birth.

“On December 30, 2014, they were travelling from Harwich to New York.

“They knew Grocott, he was someone who had befriended them.”

The couple gave him a key to their home while they were away so he could pop in and check on the home in the evenings.

Ms Bailey said: “When they returned she went to the bedroom and realised some of her jewellery was missing.”

They contacted Grocott who made up a story about how a friend had gone around with him and gone upstairs so he must have taken the items.

A little later Grocott returned with some of the jewellery but her mother’s wedding ring and and another item were still missing.

Grocott told the distraught victim he had spoken to police and gave her the name of a fictitious police officer who was supposedly investigating.

When the victim went to Colchester and popped into the police station to see how the investigation was going she discovered the officer did not exist.

What he had actually done was taken items to a pawnbroker.

Sentencing was adjourned and will conclude on May 26.