She stole from an 85-year-old she was meant to be looking after
SERIAL OFFENDER SHAME
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.”
Michelle Hutchinson walks into Bedlington Magistrates Court