A PROLIFIC thief broke into the home of a man with terminal cancer to steal his ‘lifeline’ mobile phone and bank card.

Shelley Hill, who has almost 200 offences against her name, targeted the vulnerable man the day after she was asked to leave his home when she visited with a friend.

The 43-year-old drug addict used the bank card twice to make purchases totalling more the £50 before she was arrested.

Teesside Crown Court heard how the life-long criminal stole the mobile and bank card from underneath the pillow where the victim stashed them for safekeeping.

The victim said the burglary had left him feeling 'desolate' following the loss of his mobile phone which he described as his 'lifeline'.

Tom Mitchell, prosecuting, said: "She is 43 and has been a prolific thief for years."

The Northern Echo: Shelley HillShelley Hill

The counsel told the court how Hill had almost 200 previous offences on her record including ones for burglary, robbery and theft.

Mr Mitchell said she was jailed for four years in April 2018 for two robberies.

Hill, of Roseberry Road, Stockton, pleaded guilty to one charge of burglary and two counts of fraud after using the stolen bank card to pay for almost £50 of goods.

Robin Turton, in mitigation, said his client had been on remand just shy of a year for the offences committed in January last year and had successfully kicked her drug habit while in prison.

He said "She is now drug free and has been clean for 12months and off methadone for four months.

"This is a seminal moment for her as she has not been clean since she was a child."

Judge Stephen Ashurst told Hill she had a 'shocking record' as he jailed her for two years for the burglary with six month concurrent sentences for the frauds.

He said: "He didn't welcome your presence in his home but you turned up the next day – because of his vulnerability he kept his mobile phone and wallet under his pillow.

"You went in and took the mobile phone and other possessions.

"It is easy to understand how devastated he was.

"His mobile phone was his lifeline for the tragic circumstances he was in last year.

"You have a shocking record for burglary and similar offences, you are in three figures for offences."