In the Media

Serial thief finally jailed after 207 offences laughs off her sentence as 'cushty'

PUBLISHED April 11, 2012

Heroin addict Caroline Pattinson, 34, had previously been spared prison on numerous occasions, despite her lengthy record.

But she received a two-and-a-half year jail term after targeting a 72-year-old grandmother in her home.

However as Pattinson - who began offending aged 14 and has at least one child in care - was taken down from the dock she turned to the court and said: "Cushty, easily done."

She had previously been given community orders and suspended sentences for her string of crimes and had only ever served time in prison while on remand.

Left at liberty, she amassed a huge record that includes 108 theft convictions, 42 offences against police officers, 26 matters of fraud and dishonesty, five public order counts, four crimes against property, three offences against the person, two drug offences and 17 miscellaneous non-recordable offences.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that for her latest crime, Pattinson had conned her way into the tower block home of pensioner Lilian Wilde last December by pretending that she was visiting her aunt.

She told her victim she was feeling dizzy after a bout of pneumonia and was invited in to the two-bedroom flat in Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

Mrs Wilde went to the kitchen to make her a coffee, but Pattinson repaid the compassion of a stranger by sneaking into the lounge and snatching her purse containing £40 and a supermarket voucher, before slipping away.

The pensioner said it had been "traumatic", adding: "I had been told she had done this before but I did not know it was so bad."

Judge Roger Thorn told Pattinson - who pleaded guilty to theft: "This was planned with some degree of cunning.

"There must be a significant sentence to send a message that the elderly will be protected when they are at home and protected from people like you who seem to be without morals."