Victim left ‘shaking’ after handbag theft

News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston
News from the Boston Standard, Lincolnshire: bostonstandard.co.uk, on Twitter @standardboston

An elderly woman was left ‘shaking and upset’ after the theft of her handbag – which contained important personal items.

Linda Steimane, 34, of Haworth Way, Boston, appeared at Boston Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, charged with theft after stealing a handbag from 77-year-old Ursula Hutchingson.

Prosecutor Jim Clare said Mrs Hutchingson had gone into B&M Bargains in Boston with the intention of asking staff for help.

He said: “She put her bag down while she spoke to a member of staff, went to leave and noticed the bag was gone.”

It had contained her purse, debit cards, bus pass, £85, some silver, house keys, reading glasses and her diary.

Mr Clare said Mrs Hutchingson was left ‘very upset and worried about them getting hold of her bus pass and into her house’, adding she was ‘shaking’.

The bag was later recovered from a bin with the diary and reading glasses. CCTV of the incident was circulated and Steimane was arrested a few days later.

Defending, David Lee said Steimane, who pleaded guilty, accepted she ‘had no right’ to take the handbag’. He said it had been a ‘spontaneous action’.

“She went to the shop in order to buy goods, she did not go in with the intention of stealing,” he said.

He said at the time she ‘wasn’t aware the bag belonged to someone’.

He said Steimane was struggling with money and had restricted working hours and looked after a daughter with spina bifida.

Magistrates gave Steimane a fine of £75 and ordered her to pay £85 costs and £20 victim surcharge along with £150 compensation.