Sunderland stepdaughter emptied family Christmas savings after they turned down cash request

Bethany Mewse, 24.
Bethany Mewse, 24.

A greedy stepdaughter who stole hundreds of pounds of her family’s Christmas savings has been spared jail.

Bethany Mewse, 24, emptied a tin of £840 after her mother’s partner refused to give her £400 to pay for a bond on a flat so she could move out, Sunderland magistrates heard.

She spent £400 on the bond. The rest of the money was spent on alcohol, clothing and day-to-day living costs – there is very little remorse there

Paul Grace

Mewse had previously pleaded guilty to theft from a dwelling, as reported in the Echo.

The case had been adjourned twice to enable Mewse to attend an alcohol treatment assessment, however she failed to show up both times. On the last occasion, she was given a final chance by District Judge Roger Elsey, who warned her she faced a custodial sentence if she did not comply.

She has now been handed a 16 week prison sentence, suspended for a year. She was also told to pay back the £840 she stole from her step father, and take part in 20 days of specified activity.

Mewse, at the time of her last court appearance, lived in a flat in Stockton Road, using the stolen cash to pay for the bond.

She spent the rest on clothes and booze, the court was told.

However, on returning to court she gave a different home address of Hudson Road, Sunderland.

The bench heard the money disappeared from the tin on December 4.

Prosecutor David Ward said: Bethany has at that time disappeared – she hasn’t come home.

“Police look for her and they find her several days later and ask her ‘why did you take the money?’.

“She replies; ‘Because I hate him’.”

The step father said in a victim statement: “This was money I was saving for Christmas, which has been spoiled due to this.”

Probation officer Paul Grace: “Miss Mewse immediately prior to the offence was residing with her mother and step father.

“It’s quite clear the relationship wasn’t positive prior to this.

“She wanted to move out and she needed a bond.

“She went to them asking for money and when they said no she was greatly aggrieved.

“She spent £400 on the bond. The rest of the money was spent on alcohol, clothing and day-to-day living costs.

“There is very little remorse there.

“The relationship remains sour and she’s moved property again.

“Judge Elsey, on the last occasion, felt she should be afforded one more opportunity to be assessed for an alcohol treatment requirement, but this would take perhaps more motivation than Miss Mewse has.”

Jason Smith, defending, said: “The relationship with her mother’s partner is not good.

“That has destroyed the very good relationship she had with her mother.

“There is no love lost.

“She does regret her actions because they have brought her here and she has a great deal more to deal with in her personal life.”