A “professional thief” who took advantage of a woman having an epileptic seizure to steal her bank cards has been jailed.
Amanda Hauser, 48, had talked her way inside the victim’s home a short time before the fit.
The woman could feel she was having a seizure and had asked Hauser to call for an ambulance.
But when she came out of her fit she saw Hauser putting the purse back on the table and told her to leave.
She then noticed two of her cards had gone, Stoke-on-Trent court heard.
The thief later tried to discard them after being picked up by the police near the scene of the crime in Longton on February 23.
The victim said in a statement that as a result of the attack her seizures have gotten worse and she feels vulnerable and depressed.
Now Hauser has been jailed for 15 months after she admitted the theft, plus a series of shoplifting offences during which she stole almost £500 of goods from supermarkets and Boots – after going into stores she was already banned from.
Prosecutor Dean Easthope said Hauser was with another woman when she saw the victim sitting on her doorstep and engaged her in conversation.
“They told the complainant their names.
“One, the defendant, was known as Mandy. Mandy had an injury to her shin and the second woman asked the complainant if she had anything they could use to treat it.
“The two women went to the complainant’s bathroom.
“The complainant suffers from seizures. She could feel one coming on so asked the women to leave and called an ambulance. She then had a seizure.
“When she came out of the seizure, she saw the defendant put her purse back down on the table.
“She asked the women to leave and then checked her purse and found two bank cards were missing.”
The victim called the police, who arrived a short time later and found the two women nearby.
As they were walking to the police station, Hauser pulled the cards out of her bra and dropped them on the floor in an attempt to get rid of the evidence.
The court heard Hauser’s other offences took place last year.
In May, she twice targeted Sainsbury’s in Newcastle, stealing nine bottles of Jack Daniels after removing the security tags.
She did the same at Morrisons in Newcastle last August – taking four bottles of spirits – and also stole ‘premium cosmetics’ from the town’s Boots store.
Mr Easthope said the grandmother was already banned from entering all three stores, due to past instances of shoplifting, when she committed the thefts.
Hauser, of Comet Avenue, Cross Heath, has a ‘very extensive’ criminal record, having clocked up 71 convictions for 175 offences since 1991, including benefit fraud and perverting the course of justice.
Brian Williams, mitigating, said: “The theft was nasty, it was mean – they are her words. She apologises.
“Since this offence she has reengaged with drug services and has been providing negative drug samples.
“She wants to rebuild her relationship with her family. She is doing her best to put the drug abuse behind her and start a family life.
“Where she lives at the moment temptation and influences are all around her. She wants to move away from the area.”
Judge Paul Glenn described Hauser as ‘a professional thief’ with ‘the most appalling record’.
Jailing her, he said: “This was a deeply unpleasant and mean offence. You managed to wangle your way into the victim’s house.
“While she was having a seizure and particularly vulnerable, rather than help her, you took her purse and removed two bank cards.”
The judge added: “There is absolutely no realistic prospect of rehabilitation in your case. The suggestions from the probation officer have all been tried before and none of them have prevented you from reoffending.”