A Driffield confidence trickster stole from a landlady who had taken pity on her financial plight.
Sarah Mathewson, 29, lodged with Michelle Moody in Driffield and when she needed money Ms Moody would often give her cash.
Ms Mathewson, a mother of two, pestered Ms Moody for money on November 13 and to get rid of her she gave her £10, Hull Crown Court heard (March 31).
But when the next day she could not find her purse, which contained £250 Ms Moody became suspicious that her lodger had stolen it and reported it to the police.
Detectives soon tracked down serial offender Mathewson who a judge described as a “waster”. She was captured on CCTV red-handed withdrawing £200 from a cash point using Ms Moody’s stolen bank card.
Mathewson, of Eastgate South, Driffield, pleaded guilty to a charge of burglary and using a stolen credit card and appeared for sentence at Hull Crown Court on Monday.
Crown advocate Phillip Evans said: “Miss Moody suspected, Ms Mathewson of the theft, because she knew she left the back-door open. She remembered when she had last held the wallet and it was after she had receiving £250 from another lodger.”
The court heard Mathewson had 12 previous convictions, including offences of assault, shoplifting, damaging property and a warning for burglary. She also failed to comply with a string of court orders in 2013.
Defending barrister Claire Holmes said Ms Mathewson was a drug addict who had committed offences to feed her habit. She said she had lost one child and had a second taken from her for adoption and was grieving at the time of the offences
Judge Michael Mettyear said: “I don’t see the chain events that someone who is upset and grieving should steal from a friend. She just wanted to steal money for drugs.”
Mrs Holmes said: “She took drugs to mask here feelings. She was at low point in her life. She accepts it was a mean offence. She lost her first child in 2008 and recently lost a second child for adoption.”
She said Mathewson was at a turning point having sought help for her addiction and could soon be drug free.
Judge Mettyear said: “It is too easy to say I want to give up. She has not done so in the past. She has breached court orders in the past. People like this say what they think other people want to hear.”
He refused Ms Holmes’ appeal to suspend the sentence of imprisonment saying instead he would defer sentence for six months.
He told Mathewson: “It is only two weeks since you began counseling. I feel doubtful you will come off it. I don’t think you have got the self belief to sort your life out. I am going to defer sentence for six months. If you come back having turned your life around, I won’t send you to prison. If you don’t I will lock you up. You have wasted most of your life so far. Hopefully you will make something of it now.”