A couple with more than 270 previous convictions between them tried to use a bank card stolen from an elderly Hartlepool woman.
David Redshaw and Sonia Leak were in possession of the card just over an hour after it was taken in a burglary, Teesside Crown Court heard.
“The victim in this case is a 76-year-old woman who lives in a block of flats in Hartlepool,” said Peter Sabiston, prosecuting.
“She was preparing to go out, so she answered the ring of the communal door, expecting her friend.
“An unknown male engaged her in conversation, telling her some plumbing work needed to be done in her flat.
“She was suspicious, but let him in.
“The male went to the bathroom, then told the woman he needed to get some tools from his van.”
The court heard the victim then noticed her handbag, containing two bank cards, was missing.
“She called the police,” added Mr Sabiston. “Inquiries found an attempt was made to use the card in a nearby convenience store.
“Community support officers viewed CCTV footage from the store, and identified Redshaw and Leak.
“When police called at their home, Leak tried to hide what was later found to be one of the stolen cards.
“She told police someone had brought the card to the house and she had decided to attempt to use it.
“Redshaw said a man he could not name had called with the handbag and contents.”
Redshaw, 45, of Oxford Road, Hartlepool, admitted handling stolen goods on May 29.
The court heard he has previous convictions for 198 offences, including 52 thefts and other offences of dishonesty.
Leak, 45, of Oxford Road, Hartlepool, admitted fraud by false representation.
The court heard she has previous convictions for 73 offences, including theft, drugs and motoring offences.
Matthew Collins, for Redshaw, said: “He has come to the realisation he was wasted most of his life by being in and out of the criminal justice system.
“The relationship with his co-defendant has brought him nothing but trouble.”
Andrew Teate, for Leak, said she has difficulties with drugs, but there are indications she wants to change her ways.
Judge Simon Bourne-Arton jailed Redshaw for 10 months.
Leak was jailed for four months, suspended for 18 months, including 20 days of rehabilitation activity, and a 12-month drug rehabilitation order.
The judge told the pair: “I am not going to go into the whys and wherefores of who did what,
“You are both adults and both equally culpable for the attempted dishonest use of that card.”