‘Mean’ Sunderland woman stole stepfather’s Christmas savings after he refused her a loan

Sunderland Magistrates' Court
Sunderland Magistrates' Court

A Sunderland woman stole her stepfather’s entire Christmas savings ruining the festive season for her family.

Bethany Mewse, 24, helped herself £840 of cash which he kept in the family home after he refused to lend her £400 for a deposit on a flat for her, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard.

She unfortunately put her own needs above the needs of others and they seem to be the people closest to her

Paul Grace, probation officer

Mewse who now lives in the flat she rented with the money, spent the rest of the cash on clothes and booze, the court was told.

Rehana Haque, prosecuting, said: “He had a metal tin, in which he kept his savings of £840. He lives with his partner Sarah Mewse.

“At 8pm, he returned home to put some cash in the tin.

“It was in the same place he had left it, but it no longer had any cash inside.

“The only other person with access to the property was his stepdaughter, this defendant.

“He also noticed items belonging to Sarah had been taken.”

The court heard Mr Davison tried in vain to contact Bethany and called police.

On January 9, officers eventually tracked her down to Salvation Army hostel Swan Lodge and she attended a police station voluntarily.

The court heard she admitted taking the cash and said she had spent it all and that she has no intention of returning it to her stepfather.

When asked why she had committed the offence, she replied: “I hate him.”

Mewse, of Stockton Road, Sunderland, who is out of work due to anxiety and depression, pleaded guilty to theft.

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

The court heard Mewse has previous convictions for violence and criminal damage, rather than dishonesty.

Probation officer Paul Grace, who prepared a report about Mewse, said: “The defendant was motivated by her desire to obtain her own accommodation.

“She was residing with her mother and stepfather and she needed £400 for a deposit.

“She said she had asked if she could have the money to obtain the property, but he said no and that harmed the relationship even more.”

Mr Grace added: “She spent £400 on the deposit on the flat where she currently resides.

“She spent the rest on alcohol and clothing – she made lifestyle choices with that money.

“She unfortunately put her own needs above the needs of others and they seem to be the people closest to her.”

Duncan Emmerson, defending, said: “I’ve known Bethany for a number of years and I also know the family – her stepfather and her mother.

“Alcohol has been a prevalent part of the family unit.”

He asked for another chance to assess his client for alcohol treatment, after she failed to turn up at her last appointment.

District Judge Roger Elsey said: “I am toying with the idea of imposing a suspended sentence, because the offence is so mean.”

However, he said he would give her a final chance to comply with the alcohol assessment and come back to court for sentencing on May 30.