A WOMAN who used a pensioner’s stolen bank card to make a string of contactless purchases was captured on cctv furtively sneaking round his house, weeks later.

Melanie Collier made half-a-dozen low-value purchases using the stolen card, in convenience stores, a petrol station and even for a bus fare.

Durham Crown Court heard the card was taken from a wallet at the pensioner’s bungalow home in Allison Gardens, Consett, earlier in August, but Collier later told police she was handed it by a man called “Simon”, before using it several times.

Peter Sabiston, prosecuting, said cctv fitted in the hallway of the victim’s home revealed Collier entering on August 29, at 12.33pm, apparently looking round for items, before being disturbed by the occupier who shouted in her direction and she left without taking anything.

Collier, 36, of Church Road, Consett, admitted burglary and six counts of fraud.

The court heard her 13 previous convictions include a similar offence.

Nick Peacock, for Collier, conceded these were, “mean offences”, but to which she put in timely guilty pleas.

“This was committed by someone who has had a serious drug problem for some time, using £20 to £30-worth of heroin a day.”

But he commented on her pre-sentence report in which she said it was, “a bit of a blessing” being caught as she has had a chance to ‘dry out’ while in custody.

Judge James Adkin said anyone going into that home would have known a person with a disability lived there, due to the ramp and the mobility scooter.

He said the home was, “clearly targeted” and it was committed at a time Collier was on bail with a condition to go to that address.

Imposing a 30-month prison sentence he also made her subject of a ten-year restraining order forbidding her visiting that address or contacting the victim.