‘Kind’ woman stole from home visitor

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

Blackpool Magistrates' Court

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A woman involved in offering a bed for the night to a visitor who was lost and could not find his hotel in Blackpool has been jailed after she stole hundreds of pounds from him.

Teresa McAlinden and another woman took £500 and a mobile phone from the holidaymaker who had paid them £40 for their kindness in letting him stay the night.

McAlinden, 42, of Crofters Mews, North Shore, denied theft but was found guilty of the offence after a trial. She admitted stealing drinking chocolate from a shop.

She was sentenced to serve 26 weeks in prison and pay £80 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates. At the time she took the visitor’s property, McAlinden was on a suspended prison sentence for a similar offence of stealing from someone.

Chrissie Hunt, prosecuting, said a visitor to the resort got lost and was unable to find the bed-and-breakfast he was staying at near Blackpool North railway station on September 8.

He was befriended by McAlinden’s co-accused and taken back to an address in Ibbison Court, where the defendant was living at the time.

The visitor gave the two women £40 to stay at their home. In the morning he discovered the cash and phone were missing.

Trevor Colebourne, defending, said his client maintained it was not her who stole, but her co-accused.

He added that drugs had been a major problem in McAlinden’s life for many years.