Mobile hairdresser burgled home of kind customer who gave her food, clothes and money

editorial image

A mobile hairdresser who was given food, clothing and money by a vulnerable customer returned the kindness by burgling her house.

The victim, who has significant health problems, awoke at 2.30am to find Ashleigh Glass standing at the end of her bed.

Glass fled the property when recognised, taking the woman's purse containing £140.

Glass had been visiting the woman to do her hair for seven years, Durham Crown Court heard.

"In that time they became friends," said Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting.

"Glass would often ask to borrow money, which was usually returned.

"She sometimes appeared unkempt, and feeling sorry for her, the victim would give her food and clothing.

"Glass had been to the vicim's bungalow earlier that day with her two-year-old son.

"She had asked for money, but the victim had none.

"Instead, she gave Glass food and some flowers which were a present from another friend."

The court heard Glass entered the bungalow at about 2.30am through an unlocked patio door.

"She had used the door earlier that day to let her son out into the yard," said Ms Lamballe.

"The victim thinks she deliberately left it unlocked.

"Because of her health conditions, the victim never uses the door, so she assumed Glass would have left it locked as she found it,"

In a victim personal statement, the victim said she felt betrayed by Glass, whom she had come to treat as a daughter.

The victim said the burglary made her feel guilty for having money and a nice house when Glass had neither.

The victim added a remark by a Durham Police officer suggesting police felt sorry for Glass made her feel even more guilty.

Glass, 26, of The Avenue, Seaham, admitted burglary in August of last year.

Stephen Hamill, defending, said in mitigation: "Ms Glass says no one hates her more than she hates herself.

"She is thoroughly ashamed of what she did and genuinely remorseful.

"Just before this offence her freezer broke down, leaving her with no edible food in the house for her and her two-year-old son.

"She was desperate, and lying awake in the early hours worrying, took the stupid decision to do what she did.

"Immediate custody would punish her, but it would also impact on her son.

"Her family have disowned her, so he would almost certainly have to be taken into foster care."

Judge Simon Hickey jailed Glass for two years.

The judge told her: "This was a mean offence against a vulnerable victim who not only trusted you, but also helped you in many ways over a period of time.

"You confronted this lady in her bedroom, at night, It has to be immediate custody.

"As regards your child, your family could rally round."

Glass sobbed as she was led away to begin her sentence.