An elderly man who helped a woman who had fallen on hard times was left with just £100 to live on after she repayed his generosity by stealing his money, a court has heard.
The 71-year-old awoke in his home to find thief Emma O’Callaghan rifling through his pockets and possessions.
READ MORE>>> Visit our crime section for more stories from court
Before going to bed he had placed £185 in his pocket which she stole.
The pensioner, who suffers from Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and can’t walk very far, told police O’Callaghan, whom he had known when she was younger, was aware of his disabilities.
The elderly man said he had been left “sick to his stomach”. She is beginning a 42 week jail term after the court was told the kind victim had ‘taken her in’, giving her food and lending her money when she was in need.
The 34-year-old defendant, formerly of High Street, Blackpool, appeared by video link from HMP Styal and entered a guilty plea to the theft, which happened on June 20 last year.
Kim Obrusik, prosecuting, said: “He describes that he knew the defendant many years ago when she was much younger and they had got back in contact with each shortly before this offence. He describes effectively taking her in when nobody else would.
“On June 7, the prosecution say he was asleep. He awoke to find the defendant rustling through his pockets.
“Just prior to falling asleep he had placed £185 cash in his pocket. He describes her taking that, along with other items which were dropped. He only had £100 left to live on in his Post Office account.”
Julie Taylor, defending, said O’Callaghan, who has 35 convictions for 57 offences, had a difficult background and a “very difficult lifestyle”.
She became involved in heroin and alcohol in her teens due to a traumatic childhood.