Drug addict stole purses from OAPs

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A THIEF targeted pensioners and stole their purses to fund his drug addiction.

Steven Wastell, 32, took one purse with £302 cash inside from Yates Wine Bar in Sunderland and another from a 76-year-old woman in a supermarket cafe, before using her bank card to withdraw £300.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard he also took a purse from a pensioner on her way to play bingo.

He pleaded guilty to four charges of theft and one of fraud.

Chris Wilson, defending, said: “This is a young man whose life has been blighted by a significant and long addiction to heroin. At the time, his life was in a downward spiral, where he was willing to commit any offence to get by.”

Wastell, of Raeburn Road, South Shields, was given a 28-week prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, and ordered to pay £1,253 compensation.