Washington woman stole £15,000 in cash and jewellery from her boyfriend’s mother

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Court story
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A WOMAN stole more than £15,000-worth of cash and jewels from her partner’s mother while she was on holiday.

Lindsay Cooke was staying at Yolanda Turnes’ property while she was away and stole a box containing £13,450 cash and about £2,000-worth of gold rings.

The 32-year-old then went on to sell a number of the gold rings and give £1,500 to her father and £4,000 to her brother, claiming she had won the money on a scratchcard.

After the incident, which happened between July 24 and July 26 last year, her benefit remained untouched for two months.

Bridie Smurfwaite, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was in a relationship with the victim’s son.

“Miss Turnes’ mother died in March 2012 and, following her death, Miss Turnes had locked away a box containing £13,450. There were also 25 gold rings worth around £2,000.

“The defendant was at her home and stole both of these items. When Miss Turnes confronted the defendant the following day, she was met with an argument and the defendant’s brother told her to get proof.”

Glen Gatland, defending, said: “She is still in partnership with the victim’s son.

“She is a lady who has suffered for many years from a depressive illness.

“She has now given birth to her son, who is only three days old, and at the moment she is suffering from post-natal depression.

“She obviously does not have the help which her GP can arrange for her.”

Newcastle Crown Court heard how her partner’s mother, Yolanda Turnes, had been saving her money to go on holiday to Florida with her grandchildren.

Cooke, of Roche Court, Washington, pleaded guilty to theft.

Recorder Ben Nolan told Cooke said: “You have pleaded guilty to an offence of theft, an offence which took place while you were occupying your partner’s mother’s home while she was on holiday.

“It was by chance that you found the box and quite by chance that the box contained money and jewellery.

“You stole the box, the money and the jewellery, the impact of that on your partner’s mother being somewhere in the region of £15,000.

“She was going to use that money for holidays in her retirement and for holidays with her grandchildren. It is now gone.

“It has not been replaced, and you are not in a position to replace it.”

Recorder Nolan told the court he was “not going to part this woman from her three-day-old baby” and sentenced Cooke to nine months’ imprisonment suspended for two years.

She was also handed a 12-month supervision order and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80.