Following a police investigation a Banbury woman has been sentenced to a custodial sentence for theft offences.
Hayley Stout, aged 28, of Boxhedge Road West, Banbury, pleaded guilty at Oxford Crown Court to two counts of theft.
She was sentenced at Reading Crown Court on Thursday May 26 to six months’ imprisonment for the first offence and three months’ imprisonment for the second offence, to be served consecutively, meaning Ms Stout was given a total of nine months’ imprisonment.
The first incident happened in Orchard Way, Banbury, on the morning of October 1, 2015. Ms Stout approached an elderly man near his home and said she was feeling unwell and wanted a glass of water.
The man allowed Ms Stout into his home and gave her a drink. While alone in the kitchen, Ms Stout stole a large amount of cash, the victim’s wallet and a container. Ms Stout asked to use the toilet and left the flat with the cash.
The second offence took place on November 4, 2015 between midnight and 1am at a canal boat moored in Station Approach, Banbury.
Ms Stout approached a 51-year-old man outside a shop in the town centre and asked for a cigarette. The victim was concerned about Ms Stout being alone and walked in the street with her. Ms Stout befriended him and accepted the offer of a warm drink in his canal boat. Once inside the canal boat, Ms Stout stole the victim’s wallet while he was making her a drink, then used the toilet and left.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Darren Pomroy from Force CID at Banbury police station, said: “After originally denying her involvement in the case, Stout eventually admitted responsibility and pleaded guilty to two thefts. Stout used distraction techniques in order to gain access to the victims’ properties. Once inside the property Stout waited for the opportunity to be left alone in order to help herself to cash when the victims were not looking.”
He added: “This case is a reminder to us all about the dangers of letting strangers into our properties. If the person is unknown then residents should have no reservations on shutting or locking the door on strangers. For further crime prevention and home safety advice please visit our website to call Thames Valley Police on the 101 number or visit your local police station and ask to speak to your neighbourhood policing team.”