She stole from an 85-year-old she was meant to be look­ing af­ter

SE­RIAL OF­FENDER SHAME

Sunday Sun - - News - By Sara Ni­chol Re­porter sara.ni­chol@ncj­me­dia.co.uk

VILE Michelle Hutchin­son bur­gled the home of an 85-year-old she was meant to be car­ing for and stole a purse she kept around her neck.

De­spi­ca­ble Hutchin­son was em­ployed by the vul­ner­a­ble vic­tim to help clean her flat, in Blyth, Northum­ber­land, but in­stead cru­elly be­trayed her trust.

A court was told the 44-year-old used a set of keys to creep into the el­derly lady’s home af­ter she’d fallen asleep watch­ing TV shortly be­fore mid­night on Novem­ber 17 and hid in a cup­board.

She was found by the ter­ri­fied pen­sioner who im­me­di­ately went into state of shock and needed to sit down, pros­e­cu­tors said.

In­stead of go­ing to her aid, Hutchin­son helped her­self to the vic­tim’s purse - tied on some string around her neck - and stole £120 be­fore flee­ing.

The pen­sioner man­aged to con­tact a friend to ex­plain what had hap­pened and the po­lice were called and Hutchin­son was quickly ar­rested.

Now, the for­mer drug ad­dict, of Shel­ley Cres­cent, Blyth, is fac­ing time be­hind bars af­ter ad­mit­ting one count of bur­glary dur­ing a hear­ing at South East Northum­ber­land Mag­is­trates’ Court.

James Long, pros­e­cut­ing, said Hutchin­son had been work­ing as a cleaner for the vic­tim, who was “ex­tremely vul­ner­a­ble” be­cause of her age and phys­i­cal dis­abil­i­ties.

“On Fri­day night, [the vic­tim] had car­ers come in at teatime to prepare a meal for her,” Mr Long said.

“She’s then fallen asleep in the liv­ing room in her flat in front of the TV.

“She woke up at around 11.45pm and went to a dou­ble cup­board in her pas­sage­way in her flat.

“She goes in to re­trieve her laun­dry bag, so it is ready for the next morn­ing,

“She turns on the light and, to her ob­vi­ous shock, she sees the de­fen­dant in­side the cup­board star­ing at her.”

Be­cause of the shock, the pen­sioner, who needs a walk­ing aid, be­came un­steady on her feet and needed to sit down, the court heard.

But, in­stead of help­ing her, Hutchin­son fol­lowed the woman back to her arm­chair in the liv­ing room.

Mr Long added: “[The vic­tim] had her purse on a thin cord around her neck. The de­fen­dant ap­proaches her and re­moves the purse and dis­ap­pears out of sight.

“[The vic­tim] shouts for her to re­turn, The de­fen­dant does re­turn and re­places the purse on her walk­ing frame and then leaves. [The vic­tim] checks her purse and sees £120 is miss­ing from it.”

Hutchin­son was ar­rested two days later.

John Monkhouse, mit­i­gat­ing, said Hutchin­son, who has 23 con­vic­tions for 37 of­fences, had strug­gled with a drug prob­lem in the past and had been des­per­ate for money to pay for util­i­ties.

“She’s fairly des­per­ate at the mo­ment be­cause she’s hav­ing se­ri­ous fi­nan­cial is­sues,” the solic­i­tor said.

“The act was to get money to pay her gas and elec­tric­ity, of which there is none.”

Be­cause of the se­ri­ous­ness of the of­fence, District Judge Bernard Be­g­ley sent Hutchin­son to New­cas­tle Crown Court for sen­tence.

Grant­ing her con­di­tional bail, the judge said: “This of­fence is so se­ri­ous that this court can­not deal with it and I’m com­mit­ting your case to the crown court for sen­tence.

“I’m go­ing to grant you bail. You will ap­pear at the crown court on De­cem­ber 19.”

TIM MCGUIN­NESS

Michelle Hutchin­son walks into Bedling­ton Mag­is­trates Court

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