A HEROIN addict who stole an 80-year-old woman’s purse after chatting to her on a bus has finally been locked up.
Tammy Wilmot, who was only spared jail two months ago, brazenly dipped her hand into the victim’s handbag during the bus trip.
The pensioner has mobility problems and needs a three-wheeled walker to get about, Teesside Crown Court heard.
The victim had been shopping in Hartlepool town centre before getting on the bus and was joined by Wilmot, who has been addicted to heroin since she was just 16.
David Crook, prosecuting, said: “The defendant sat next to her and started dipping her hands into her handbag which was in front of the lady.
“Wilmot chatted to her as if nothing had happened and got off the bus.
“Later when the victim checked she found her purse was missing from her bag and contacted the police.”
Wilmot was arrested the following day after she handed the purse in to a Police Community Support Officer and tried to claim she had found it.
But when officers searched Wilmot’s home they discovered two pendants which the victim identified as hers.
In a statement read to the court the victim said the theft on September 5 had left her badly shaken and dented her confidence about going out alone.
She said she felt Wilmot had targeted her because of her mobility problems and age.
Wilmot, of Keswick Street, who also admitted two other thefts, was jailed for 12 months.
She was given another 18 months as the theft put her in breach of two suspended sentences previously made by the crown court.