An ‘honorary aunt’ burgled a close friend’s home after the victim refused to lend her any money, a court heard.
Lynn Allonby sneaked into the house on Edward Street in Rishton through an unlocked back door and stole Alison Ridsdale’s purse containing bank cards and £30 cash.
The 55-year-old was later identified by police through CCTV after she tried unsuccessfully to use the bank cards at the local Post Office, Mini Market and Co-Op store.
When Allonby was arrested she told officers that she regretted taking the money but ‘didn’t regret taking the bank cards’, Burnley Crown Court heard.
Allonby, of Allan Critchlow Way, Rishton, pleaded guilty to burglary and was given a six-month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months with a 30-day rehabilitation activity requirement and 60 hours unpaid work.
Stephen Parker, prosecuting, said Allonby had been at the victim’s house the night before the incident.
He told the court: “Upon returning home she mulled over in her mind how she was annoyed with the complainant because she did cleaning in the house and asked to borrow some money, but the complainant wouldn’t lend her any.”
Mr Parker said Allonby knew the back door was unlocked and went round in the early hours while the victim and six children in the house were asleep.
A victim impact statement read out at court told how Miss Ridsdale now ‘feels scared in her own home’ and her children ‘classed her (Allonby) as family’.
Richard Prew, defending, told the court: “She wants to express through me how remorseful she is for this and the affect on her friendship.
“She pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.”
Judge Simon Newell said it was a ‘great shock to the owner’.
Sentencing, he said: “People who break into other people’s houses, even if they steal only a small amount of money, almost inevitably go to prison.
"This case is slightly different as you were known to the family.
"You were treated as an honorary aunt, you were liked by the family and the children and spent an awful lot of time there.
“It was still nevertheless a great shock to the owner of that house, your former friend.
"She trusted you, liked and respected you and didn’t expect you to come into the house into the middle of the night and take her money.”