A MOBILE hairdresser paid an unexpected visit to a long-standing customer who had previously showed her kindness and support, a court heard.

But, in return for her generosity, Ashleigh Glass burgled the woman’s bungalow in the early hours of the morning.

Durham Crown Court heard the victim, who has health difficulties, woke to see Glass at the end of her bed, at 2.30am on August 15, last year, the day before the defendant’s 26th birthday.

Although the intruder made off, realising she had been seen, she left with the householder’s purse and the £140 contents.

Victoria Lamballe, prosecuting, said the victim had known Glass as her visiting hairdresser at her home in Seaham, for the previous seven years.

Miss Lamballe said they formed something of a friendship and there were times when Glass appeared down at heel that she would be given food and clothing by her kindly customer.

Glass would also ask to borrow money, which was generally reimbursed.

Miss Lamballe said earlier on the day of the burglary Glass had been to the home and asked for money, but the victim had none at the time.

She did, however, offer Glass some food as well as flowers which she had been given by a friend.

But, Miss Lamballe said during that visit Glass let her young son out into the yard to play via a patio door rarely used by the victim.

It was suspected that she deliberately left the door open to enable her to gain entry later that night.

In her victim statement, read to the court, the resident said she felt betrayed by Glass, who she had so often assisted.

Glass, of The Avenue, Seaham, admitted burglary.

Stephen Hamill, for Glass, told the court she is “thoroughly ashamed and genuinely remorseful.”

Mr Hamill said she took the “stupid decision” to burgle her customer’s home having become “desperate” as her freezer had broken down leaving her short of food for herself and her son.

Jailing her for two years, Judge Simon Hickey told Glass: “It was a mean offence against a vulnerable victim who not only trusted you, but also helped you in many ways over a period of time.”