A callous thief struck up a conversation with a pensioner in Falkirk town centre moments before snatching her handbag and its contents.
Claire Lindley had been chatting to the 73-year-old, who was on a mobility scooter, at a taxi rank just prior to stealing from the OAP.
Appearing at Falkirk Sheriff Court last Thursday, Lindley (39), 9 Aitken Road, Camelon, admitted stealing the bag on January 3.
The heartless act took place after the pensioner had left the taxi rank on her electric buggy. Twisted Lindley then followed her and removed the bag, which contained the woman’s purse, keys and around £20 in cash, from the handlebar of the scooter before running off.
Procurator fiscal depute Susan Campbell said: “As the complainer reached the mini roundabout the accused appeared and grabbed the bag.
“There was no physical violence or struggle and the accused thereafter ran away.
“There was a recovery of the bag. None of the items within was recovered and the complainer has contacted the bank to be compensated for monies lost.”
Lindley’s defence solicitor told Sheriff Craig Caldwell her client had little memory of the incident as she was “heavily under the influence of Valium” but accepts that isn’t an excuse for her actions.
The court heard she has been working with the Forth Valley Substance Misuse service to try to make “inroads” with her drug issues.
Asking Sheriff Caldwell to consider imposing unpaid work and a compensation order, Lindley’s solicitor added: “She very much regrets involving herself in this. She accepts it must have been very frightening for the lady.”
However, Sheriff Caldwell ignored that suggestion and told Lindley: “You have an appalling history of offending, including many thefts no doubt to supply funds for you to maintain whatever habbit you had. It seems to me that it was a deliberate act. It was a cynical, opportunistic offence.”
She was jailed for six months.