A drug-fuelled mum who burgled a pensioner’s home as he slept has been jailed.
Carla Ball smashed her way in to the 79-year-old’s home on Richmond Street, Accrington after he had earlier refused to let her in.
The mum-of-one stole £436 worth of items from his home – including some from his bedroom while he was sleeping – and was later identified from blood and fingerprints left at the scene.
Ball, 31, of Commercial Street, Oswaldtwistle, pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to burglary and was jailed for two years.
Martin Callery, prosecuting, told the court how Ball was ‘somebody known to [the victim]’ but that it had been ‘some time since he last saw her’.
The court heard how she went to his home on May 4 this year and he refused to let her in.
The next morning the pensioner awoke to find his property had been broken into and smashed glass had been placed in a plastic bag.
Among items stolen was a mobile phone and the court heard how the victim called the phone and Ball answered.
Ball told him that she had bought the phone from two women for £10 and agreed to return it to him.
Mr Callery said Ball was later identified as the burglar following a CSI examination of the home.
When arrested she made ‘full and frank admissions’ and said that she was under the influence of drugs at the time and committed the offences to fund her heroin addiction.
Mr Callery said Ball had ‘deliberately gone there’ and ‘knew the victim was elderly’ and that there was a ‘significant degree of planning’.
Darren Lee-Smith, defending, urged the court to take an ‘exceptional course’ and avoid sending Ball directly to jail.
He told the court that it was an ‘unpleasant offence’ but the defendant is ‘resolved to address her offending behaviour’.
Mr Lee-Smith said she had previously made ‘positive progress’ on a rehabilitation course before she was affected by the death of her partner.
He said: “Throughout her life the first thing she turns to when suffering periods of emotional instability and loss are drugs and alcohol. The defendant understands this is her very last chance.”
'I has to be an immediate custodial sentence'
Judge Beverley Lunt said it would be ‘wholly inappropriate’ to decide not to send Carla Ball directly to prison.
The court heard how she has a ‘dreadful record’ for dishonesty and violence offences and has a ‘lot of breaches of court orders’.
Sentencing, she said: “You have a dreadful record for offences involving dishonesty and violence. A lot of your previous convictions show a total disregard of court orders.
“You have targeted this man. He is someone who you have always had a decent enough relationship with in the past. It was your decision to start using drugs again.
“You targeted his premises and knew what you were doing. There has to be an immediate custodial sentence. It would be wholly inappropriate to suspend the sentence.”