A drug addict who raided her sister’s home at night was caught after the victim rang her stolen mobile phone and the thief’s girlfriend answered, a court heard.
Georgina White had crept into her sister’s Percy Street, Nelson, home through a window and stolen two purses, with £100 cash, a mobile phone and some GHD hair straighteners.
Burnley Crown Court was told the defendant had also left a footprint on the inside window sill at her sister’s home, but after she was arrested, she denied being responsible and claimed the print was from when she had been assisting in cleaning at the house.
White, said to have a “drug addict’s record” of mostly shoplifting, had kept out of trouble for three years and a judge said that was to her credit, but she had had a “wobble” and needed structured help.
The defendant (34), of Kyan Street, Burnley, admitted burglary. Judge Beverley Lunt sentenced her to a community order, with 12 months’ supervision and a six-month drugs programme.
Miss Lucy Wright (prosecuting) said the victim went to bed about 1-30am and left her house locked and secure, apart from one window. She woke at 8-45am, went downstairs and realised her purse was missing from the arm of the sofa, as well as the other items.
She called the police and the footprint was found to match shoes owned by the defendant. The victim rang her mobile phone the next evening. Miss Wright continued: “It was answered and she recognised on the other end of the phone the voice of the girlfriend of this defendant. She made further inquiries and found the mobile phone had been topped up with two £5 credits using a card which was in her purse.”
White was arrested because her girlfriend was identified as having answered the phone.
Mr Richard Taylor, for White, said she had been trying to wean herself off drugs, after the stark realisation she was completely ruining her health, her family’s life and her own life.
Passing sentence, Judge Lunt, who described the offence as “bizarre,” said because of the length of time White had stayed out of trouble and the nature of the burglary, she was not even inclined to impose a suspended sentence at this stage.
The judge told the defendant: “I don’t know what was going through your head when you did this.
“It’s very much to your credit that although you have had a drug problem for a long time, you have been trying to sort it out yourself and to a degree you have succeeded and you are to be commended for that.
“I would take this chance if I were you and then you won’t be before the courts again.”