Woman trusted with a spare key to disabled Northamptonshire man’s flat stole £12,000 of his possessions

Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001
Northampton Crown Court NNL-140423-093950001

A woman who emptied a disabled man’s house of £12,000 worth of possessions after he trusted her with a spare key has been given a curfew order after she pleaded guilty to burglary.

Phillipa Thompson, aged 38, was the neighbour of a man with cerebral palsy and learning difficulties who lived in a flat in Kettering.

The court heard Thompson was trusted with a key to the man’s property in June last year when he moved to live somewhere else in the town, as he wanted someone to keep an eye on his possessions.

Lynsay Knott, prosecuting, said that when the man returned to the flat on August 10 he found that it had been almost entirely emptied of all his possessions including his two sofas, tumble dryer, CD player and cooker.

The man became suspicious of Thompson and, after a police search of her flat, they recovered the stolen tumble dryer.

The total amount of property stolen was worth £12,000, although some of the items including the sofas have now been recovered.

In a victim impact statement read to the court by Ms Knott, the man revealed that he had been left unable to trust anyone after the betrayal by someone who he thought was a friend.

Ms Knott said: “I never thought for one moment she would steal from me. If I can’t trust my friend, who can I trust?

“She knew I had disabilities so that is why I am so upset.

“In some ways I wish I had been burgled by a stranger. I don’t feel safe with anyone anymore.”

James McLernon, mitigating, said Thompson had been “pressured” by others into committing the crime.

Recorder Edward Hess sentenced Thompson, of Gloucester Close, Kettering, to a 12-month curfew order from 7pm to 7am. She must pay the victim surcharge of £60.

Recorder Hess said: “What you did to this man was a terrible thing and you have just shown enough remorse to get away without a custodial sentence.”