Woman stole from home of a dementia sufferer
A WOMAN who stole cash and cheques from a house where her friend's dementia-suffering father lived has been jailed.
Drug addict Sorren Lane twice targeted the house stealing £1 coins totalling hundreds of pounds from a jar, as well as three blank cheques.
The 32-year-old, of Sturminster Road in Stockwood, pleaded guilty to twice burgling the property in Barnstaple Road, Knowle, between July 10 and 15 this year.
At Bristol Crown Court, Peter Coombe, prosecuting, said a 78-year-old gentleman who suffered from dementia lived at the property, along with his son.
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His son had been putting £1 coins in a glass jar in his bedroom in order to later pay for himself and his brother to go away on holiday.
"He came home from work to find the coin jar was three to four inches lower, estimating £300 to £400 was missing," Mr Coombe said.
"He asked his father who said no one had been in the house. He decided to lock the jar in a cupboard. On July 13, just two days later he again returned from work to find that more coins had been taken. He estimated at least £1,000 of £1 coins had been taken from the jar in the two occasions they had been burgled.
"Soon after he noticed that a cheque for £350 had come out of his account and two other cheques he had not written had been taken from his account, although I understand he was reimbursed by the bank for these amounts."
Mr Coombe said Lane, who knew the victim's sister, was caught because she had left her fingerprints on the coin jar. He said she had previous offences for theft, shoplifting and an aggravated burglary.
Jane Chamberlain, defending, said that while an elderly man suffering with dementia was at the property he had no idea she had been there.
"The money was not taken from the father's room and he was not disturbed," Miss Chamberlain said.
"She did not intend to prey on him and there is no trauma caused because he did not know what was going on in the house."
She said Lane had a troubled childhood and had turned to drugs in her early 20s and while Lane had managed to stop taking drugs for a period had reverted to crack cocaine and heroin after because of stress caused by an abusive relationship.
Mr Justice Field told Lane: "I am quite satisfied that you knew perfectly well the debilitating state this man was in and you helped yourself to a significant amount of cash as well as three cheques.
"In my judgement only a custodial sentence is appropriate in this case."
Lane was jailed for 15 months.