A WOMAN stole thousands of pounds from a friend after she was given a roof over her head.

Victoria James with staying with the woman and was given her bank card to get some money, a court heard.

But the 40-year-old used it repeatedly to withdraw at least £3,700.

James’s lawyer, Nicci Horton, told Teesside Crown Court that she had a “short relapse” into using heroin.

Miss Horton told Judge Deborah Sherwin: “Since 2008, she has not bothered the court system.

“She does have some significant health issues. She was a drug addict for many years, and had a short relapse, but obviously one that has had fairly drastic consequences.”

James, of Askham Close, Middlesbrough, admitted a charge of theft, and will be sentenced on May 8 after a background report has been prepared by the Probation Service.

Judge Sherwin told her: “The court would be helped by having a pre-sentence report setting out details about you and your background. That doesn’t mean I am making any promises about what the outcome will be."