A WOMAN who stole from two vulnerable pensioners, including one suffering from dementia, has been told to expect jail.
Catrina Winifred Thomas, 39, of 58 Bronybuckley, Welshpool, was found guilty of burglary and fraud at trial and pleaded guilty to a separate charge of theft.
Helen Tench, prosecuting, told Welshpool Magistrates Court that Thomas had committed the burglary and fraud jointly with her mother, who has since died, in June last year.
She explained that on June 16 the pair had visited the home of Margaret Bailey, a wheelchair bound elderly lady who also has since died.
Mrs Bailey said two women had come to her house, looking for another woman.
She said they had pushed past her to get in and then sat down briefly before getting up to leave.
Mrs Bailey then found that her handbag was missing.
Two days later police reviewed CCTV footage from Welshpool’s Post Office which showed Thomas and her mother talking with staff at the counter.
Police found that Mrs Bailey’s account had been emptied with a withdrawal of £278.35.
In an interview with police following her arrest Thomas said: “It’s nothing to do with me. Mum knows an old woman up there. I didn’t go right in I just stood in the door.”
The second incident took place on July 27 at the One Stop shop in Welshpool.
A member of staff had been called to deal with a vulnerable elderly woman called Kath Evans who was confused as to whether she had paid for a newspaper.
When the staff member arrived he saw Thomas had gone to help the lady.
An hour later Mrs Evans, who has been diagnosed with dementia, returned to the shop to say her purse had been stolen.
When the CCTV was reviewed Thomas could be seen taking the purse.
In an interview with police Thomas said she believed the purse had belonged to her mother and had taken it because it had £20 of her money in it.
Robert Hanratty, mitigating, said there was nothing to suggest Thomas was involved in the planning of the first incident and that she had not been the principle offender.
Mr Hanratty added that Thomas was so convinced that Mrs Evans’ purse belonged to her mother that officers had brought it from Newtown to Welshpool to prove she was mistaken.
He added that Thomas has significant issues relating to alcohol.
Thomas was told her case was too serious to be sentenced at magistrates court (which can only impose a maximum custodial sentence of six months) and would be committed to crown court.
She will appear at Mold Crown Court on February 28 and was bailed on the condition that she co-operates with the probation service on reports.
She was also fined £50 for a breach of the bail act.