A WOMAN who burgled her own grandmother’s home during a spate of offences has escaped being jailed after a judge heard she is finally tackling her drug addiction.
Kathleen Crowley had pleaded guilty at Warwick Crown Court to six charges of fraud, having earlier admitted offences of burglary and theft.
The 36-year-old of Justice Close, Leamington, was given a two-year community order, with a rehabilitation activity and an 8pm to 6am electronically-tagged curfew for two months.
Prosecutor Ian Windridge said that in September last year Crowley and her sister Marie burgled their grandmother’s home while she was away for the weekend.
When the 77-year-old got back, she found her home in Whitnash was secure and the doors locked – but a bottle of vodka, some painkillers and two purses with money in them, £40 and 485 euros, had been taken.
The pensioner had her suspicions, so carried out her own investigation, and when Marie was challenged she admitted it was her and her sister.
Crowley was arrested after she was later seen leaving the Morrison’s store in Leamington with items worth £287 for which she had not paid.
She had also stolen clothing worth £318 from the Factory Shop in Warwick, and told the police she had done so to sell it so she could pay her rent – but had thrown it in the canal after she was unable to find a buyer.
Mr Windridge said in November last year a man named Alan Dorgan carried out a burglary at a house in Leamington and stole a handbag.
A bank card from the handbag was being used later the same day by Crowley in an unsuccessful attempt to withdraw cash from an ATM machine in Leamington.
And later she used it twice at the Morrison’s store petrol station to make contactless purchases of fuel – which CCTV cameras showed being put into a car by Dorgan.
An hour later she used it in Whitnash to make a contactless payment for items costing £28.86.
She then tried to use it twice at shops in Leamington, where Dorgan was seen in the background at both stores, but it was declined on both occasions.
When Crowley was arrested and interviewed a few days later, she made no comment.
But when she first appeared in court, she indicated she would admit the frauds, but not the burglary, to which Mr Windridge said Dorgan had pleaded guilty.
Ian Speed, defending, said Dorgan was the father of Crowley’s ex-partner’s child, and it was after the break-up of the relationship with her ex-partner that she went off the rails and started taking heroin and then crack cocaine.
Sentencing Crowley, Judge Peter Cooke told her: “Each of the offences potentially carries imprisonment, but there are things in the report on you which are impressive.
“The order is for two years because the process of getting you back onto the rails is not going to be a matter of just a few months.”