CORINNA Finney has refused to apologise after escaping a jail sentence for arranging a removal van to clear out everything but the underlay from her ex-partner’s flat.
The court heard Brian Waite and Finney, who had known each other for 10 years, had been in a relationship for 18 months before it broke down.
But she snapped when she found him using online dating websites and shortly after the break-up, on March 14, she arranged for a removal firm to take the possessions at his flat in Moredon while Brian spent the day at the Cheltenham Festival.
But even though Nigel Spinney, chairman of the bench, told her she could be facing jail, the 39-year-old said she feels her 15-month community order, which includes a curfew monitored by electronic tag between 9pm and 6am every day for 18 weeks, was too harsh.
The mother-of-two from Redhouse, who was sentenced at Swindon Magistrates Court yesterday for one count of theft, said: “I thought I was only going to get a fine for a couple of hundred pounds. Instead I got a curfew “I don’t go out much but it restricts me. What if one of my kids gets ill and I have to take them to hospital during the night.
“If I didn’t have children I think they would have sent me to prison. “I am not apologising, I am not sorry about it.
“I wouldn’t have done it if he hadn’t cheated on me. He’s trying to make out I am a crazy lady but a crazy person doesn’t go around someone’s flat and clear it out.”
Last month she pleaded guilty to stripping out her 63-year-old ex-partner’s home, admitting she chatted up a removal van driver on Facebook and persuading him to help her empty the flat, leaving just the underlay for the carpets and a few potted plants.
Brian returned home at 8.15pm and was horrified to discover all of the items from inside his property had disappeared.
Prosecuting, Michelle Hewitt said: “The defendant had arranged for a man with a van to come round and the place was stripped bare of everything; the carpets, clothing, food and the fridge, the television, oven, cutlery, and his curtains – everything.
“Fortunately, a lot of it was later recovered but some items, including his clothing, carpets and food were never recovered.”
Ms Hewitt said the items taken totalled thousands of pounds but those outstanding were worth £950.
Brian was devastated when he came home to discover he was left only with the clothes on his back.
He said: “I was met with a shocking sight. The entire contents of my flat had been stripped out.
“Food had been stolen from the cupboards – I was literally left with the clothes I was wearing.”
Mitigating, Gordon Hotson said unemployed Finney and Brian had been trying to resolve issues in their relationship before her discovery.
“It came as a great shock to her to discover that behind her back he was still using dating type websites, when they were trying to make a go of things,” Mr Hotson said.
“For some considerable time, she had been suffering considerable emotional difficulties and the discovery just caused her to snap.”