A MUM who stole a vulnerable woman’s pension money from her own home has walked free from court.

Natasha Hunt also took thousands of cigarettes that were in the house of the victim, who suffers from learning difficulties But after hearing the 30-year-old was addressing her drug problems and had been out of trouble for eight years, a judge imposed a suspended sentence.

Colin Meeke, prosecuting, told Swindon Crown Court that Elizabeth Adsett, who is in her mid-60s, lives in Cherry Tree Grove, Pinehurst.

He said it was clear someone had been selling cigarettes from the pensioner’s house but there was no suggestion she had done anything wrong.

On October 17 the defendant was let into her house and stole about ten cartons of cigarettes.

Hunt also took about £200 in cash – Miss Adsett’s pension money.

When the matter was reported to police, Hunt was arrested and questioned.

Mr Meeke said: “It is clear she took advantage of Elizabeth Adsett’s good nature and a degree of vulnerability.

“When arrested she was found to be in possession of a small amount of crack cocaine. She acknowledges she had a drug habit.”

Hunt, of Hatherleigh Court, Park North, pleaded guilty to theft and possessing drugs. She had denied burglary, which was dropped.

The court heard she had a long history of crime, including stealing from friends and family.

On one occasion she went to a friend’s house and asked to use the phone as she was locked out and used the opportunity to steal. She also took a relative’s bank card and used it to withdraw money and has taken phones and a handbag from other people’s houses.

The court was told she had been a drug user since she was 20 and her child had been taken by social services and was being cared for by her mother.

Mike Jeary, defending, said until the latest matter she had not been in trouble for eight years and was on methadone for her drug problem.

“She has never been in any doubt she is in peril of immediate custody. She took advantage of a lady of elderly years,” he said.

Recorder Maria Lamb said to Hunt: “You are someone who, in the past, has regularly preyed on friends and family to steal from them for your own ends. Your offending is despicable, you helped yourself to this woman’s money and some cartons of cigarettes.

“When you came here today there was no report, which was because you breached your bail which was to co-operate with the probation service. You are very lucky that a probation officer gave up time to see you and provide an oral report.

“The good thing that can be said on your behalf is you have done something to try and sort out your problem.

“It might not be a very long time but at least you have managed to keep yourself out of trouble since November.”

She imposed a four-month jail term suspended for a year with supervision.