A female burglar who raided a Wigan home on crutches has been given a second chance by a judge.
CCTV cameras caught Kerry Taylor hobbling in and out of the house in Lawn Street, Scholes, with power tools, Bolton Crown Court heard.
Taylor insisted she thought that the house, which was being renovated, was unoccupied and she was retrieving tools belonging to two men, who had dropped her off there in a car.
But the owner’s son was asleep upstairs when Taylor began rifling the property, a judge was told, in a theft which saw equipment worth £2,225 taken, and placed in a wheelie bin outside.
Prosecutor Jonathan Dickinson said the owner began to make his own inquiries and tracked down security camera footage from a neighbouring property. Taylor could be seen taking various items out to the bin before walking off with it. She in fact later contacted the owner, to tell him that she was responsible for the burglary, the court heard.
Taylor told him that the tools had been pawned at a branch of Cash Generators and she had received £150 in return.
Mr Dickinson said that when Taylor was eventually arrested, she claimed that two men, who were giving her a lift home, had told her their tools had been left in the house. And she agreed to help them out because she had been taking drugs at the time.
Taylor, 41, was at risk of a three-year minimum jail sentence as a “third-strike” house burglar, after pleading guilty to the latest offence.
But Geoffrey Lowe, defending, said the circumstances behind the two previous convictions were unusual - the first was a distraction burglary carried out with another and the second break-in had only focused on the kitchen of a house.
He told the court that the defendant believed that the house was unoccupied and she was only interested in retrieving the tools from inside.
Mr Lowe said his client, who was remanded in custody for seven weeks after her arrest, had three children and a partner, who had custody of the youngsters. She suffered from epilepsy but had managed to switch her medication and was working to address her drugs issues.
Her partner had made it clear that he supported her but took a dim view of her offending, he added.
Judge Richard Gioserano deferred sentence on Taylor until December 21 to monitor her progress in the community. He told her: “Where you go from here is up to you, you can spend Christmas with your family or you can spend it in custody.”