A WOMAN who burgled her neighbours’ home while they were away and stole £3,600 cash has been sentenced by a judge.
Elizabeth Mallinson, 52, was caught in the act by a cleaner and relative of the absent occupants while standing near an office desk at the Todhills property just after 8-30pm.
Described as “dishevelled” and “rambling”, Mallinson rushed past the frightened cleaner and left. It emerged she had stolen £3,600 cash, lottery tickets and cheques having initially visited with the legitimate intention of having paperwork signed.
Carlisle Crown Court was told that although around £500 was recovered, Mallinson threw the remainder away in a haze of “confusion and irrational thought” after realising with “horror” the gravity of what she’d done.
A woman of previous good character, Mallinson, of Montgomery Court, Blackford, near Carlisle, admitted burglary – an offence described by her lawyer as “utterly out of character” in a “highly unusual case”.
Mark Shepherd, defending, said of her crime: “It is difficult to truly assess what was going through her mind at that point because she doesn’t know herself. The reason she doesn’t know herself is because of an untreated and underlying mental health condition.” A bipolar disorder had since been diagnosed, the court heard.
After reading character references and hearing sensitive personal information as part of what he concluded was considerable mitigation, Judge Peter Davies imposed a three-year community order.
Mallinson must complete a rehabilitation requirement, and pay £3,100 compensation within 28 days.