Burglar’s ex-part­ner hid stolen items in her hand­bag

Southport Visiter - - Front Page -

THE ex-girl­friend of a pro­lific thief avoided jail de­spite be­ing caught han­dling his stolen goods.

Su­san Houghton, 44, had been in a re­la­tion­ship with Ger­ard San­ders for a “short time” when he asked her to hide stolen jew­ellery and a iPhone in her hand­bag.

Houghton, of Quarry Green Heights, Kirkby, was ar­rested when police turned up at a prop­erty search­ing for San­ders and the goods were iden­ti­fied as be­ing from three sep­a­rate house bur­glar­ies.

She was not be­lieved to have been per­son­ally in­volved in the bur­glar­ies, but pleaded guilty to three counts of han­dling stolen goods at Sefton Mag­is­trates’ Court.

A pro­ba­tion re­port, read out in court, stated that Houghton had been ad­dicted to heroin for 22 years and suf­fered from a chronic lung cond­tion.

The re­port also said that she was now liv­ing in a more sta­ble home and was no longer us­ing heroin as she tried to im­prove her life for the sake of her 22-year-old daugh­ter.

San­ders, who gained no­to­ri­ety af­ter knock­ing him­self out on a plant pot while flee­ing a bur­glary in 2010, was this year jailed for 4½ years for his roles in these thefts and five oth­ers across Mersey­side.

Houghton was given a 10-week sus­pended sen­tence and was or­dered to pay £200 and at­tend a nine-month drugs re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion course.

Ger­ard San­ders

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