A MEAN addict who stole her grandmother’s sentimental jewellery and sold it for drugs money could be facing jail.
Samantha Nicola Balderstone helped herself to a £200 haul after visiting vulnerable 73-year-old Audrey Glover at her home in Nelson on May 5th. It included a ring Mrs Glover’s late husband had given her, Pennine magistrates heard.
Balderstone, said to have been drunk and on a “cocktail of drugs” at the time, told the victim: “I hope nothing’s missing” before walking out of her bungalow.
The defendant wiped away tears as the hearing was told she had got £100 for the stolen property, but was ashamed of what she had done.
Balderstone, who has a record for stealing going back to 1998, admitted theft. The defendant (27), of Caldervale, Barrowford, was bailed until June 2nd for a pre-sentence report. The Bench told her custody was not being ruled out and banned her from going within 100m of the victim’s home or contacting her.
Miss Parveen Akhtar (prosecuting) said Balderstone had gone to visit her grandmother about midday and told her she was going to put some make-up on in the bedroom. She then took the jewellery and spent the money on drugs. She had 10 previous convictions for theft.
Mr David Leach (defending) said Balderstone had got involved in heroin and had frequently been before the courts. Since 2006, her record had declined after she engaged with a number of agencies and freed herself from her addiction.
The defendant then relapsed back into drink, was a recovering alcoholic and was on methadone. She visited her grandmother quite frequently, had gone legitimately, but had been under the effects of alcohol and withdrawing from methadone. She had had a cocktail of many other drugs and would say she was completely out of her head.
Mr Leach said the victim was willing to build bridges, although she would not trust Balderstone for years to come. The defendant, who was planning to move away from the area and her associates, hoped to recover the stolen property.
The solicitor added: “She is deeply, deeply ashamed. She has done something that even she finds appalling.”