A CONWOMAN who tricked her way into the home of an MP’s elderly mother and stole her wedding and engagement rings has been jailed.

Leanne Smith took advantage of the kindliness of the 77-year-old widow, mother of Easington MP Grahame Morris, who invited her in when she asked to borrow a tea bag last July.

The 34-year-old then distracted her by telling her there was a knock at the door.

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Smith, of Henry Street, Murton, east Durham, stole a handbag containing £100 and “irreplaceable” wedding and engagement rings from the pensioner's late husband.

The crook pawned the rings and police have been unable to trace them.

The grandmother-of-two, who was just out of hospital, told police she lived by the philosophy of doing a good deed every day.

She recognised Smith from the neighbourhood, Newcastle Crown Court heard.

Days earlier, Smith and partner Alan Warrener snatched an 81-year-old woman’s handbag in Sunderland.

Smith admitted burglary and robbery and was jailed for four years, while Warrener, 30, of Chester Road, Sunderland, admitted robbery and was jailed for two years.

Recorder Paul Camp said both crimes had a significant effect on the victims.

Mr Morris said: “It’s very upsetting when it’s your own family and I hope that other elderly people will learn from this to be ultra-cautious about letting anybody they don’t know into their house.”

Lewis Kerr, for Smith, said she was sorry for what she had done, while Andrew Finlay, for Warrener, said he had turned to alcohol to cope with tragedy in his life.