Thief told she was lucky not to go to prison

Blackpool Magistrates Court

Blackpool Magistrates Court

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A woman who stole a visitor’s cash and phone after he paid to stay at her home when he got lost was told she had missed being jailed by a whisker.

Noreen Hanson took £500 and a mobile from the holidaymaker’s jacket after he went to sleep, a court was told.

Hanson, 46, of Ibbison Court, Blackpool, denied theft but was found guilty of the offence after a trial in her absence. She admitted two offences of shoplifting.

She was sentenced to 12 months’ supervision with six months’ drug rehabilitation and ordered to pay £260 compensation to her victim plus £60 victims’ surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.

Presiding magistrate Janet Boccaccio told Hanson: “You came within a whisker of going to prison. We feel you are starting to engage with the drug rehabilitation services and to jail you would be to impede that progress. You should look on this as your last chance.”

Pam Smith, prosecuting, said a visitor went out drinking and could not find the way back to his hotel near Blackpool North railway 
station on September 9.

He met Hanson and she said he could stay at her flat for £50.

Another woman was staying at the flat at the time. She was also found guilty of stealing from the visitor.

The visitor said Hanson and the other woman smoked drugs at the flat. When he woke he found his property gone and he called the police. Hanson told 
police her co-accused must have taken the money when she was asleep.

Robert Castle, defending, said Hanson had given her co-accused’s name to the police.