Thief in court over ‘bad hand’

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A convicted thief who stole more than £2,400 from a 73-year-old pensioner has been told she will be jailed if she does not complete her 240 hours unpaid work she claims she cannot do because of a “bad hand.”

Within two months of being told she was very lucky not to be going to jail Julie Santos says she cannot complete her volunteering in a Driffield charity shop, Hull Crown court heard (Monday March 30).

Judge Michael Mettyear told Julie Santos, 54, she had disgracefully targeted a woman while working as part of a care team in Bridlington, stealing from her by using her bank card.

Santos, of Main Street, Carnaby, appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentence on January 19 after pleading guilty to two charges of fraud and six charges of theft.

She went shopping for goods for herself with her victims credit cards.

Santos re-appeared at Hull Crown Court on Monday (March 30) to explain why she could not complete her punishment after initially complaining she had a bad knee.

She had previously appeared at Hull Crown court on Monday 30 March to explain the bad knee meant she could not carry out her work. On the say Judge Bury said: “She was very lucky not to be going to prison.

“Now two months later she says she cannot do unpaid work.

“Surely she was asked if she was fit to do unpaid work?”

A probation worker told the court on 30 March she was unable to do the work at a charity shop because she had produced a doctor’s note.

She said that the probation service had initially assessed her as suitable to do the work as a direct alternative to custody and Santos had confirmed she was fit.

Santos claims to have carpel tunnel syndrome in her left wrist and tendonitis in her right hand.

She appeared in the well of the court wearing a wrist brace on her arm. She put in a doctor’s note saying she had carpel tunnel syndrome and is due for an operation soon.

Judge Mark Bury who saw her earlier this month said he was unhappy with the situation because the alternative punishment would not be complied with so had transferred the case to the original judge who sentenced Santos. Judge Michael Mettyear, who was sitting for the last time before he resigned this week, told Santos he had not changed his mind that she was very lucky not to be going to prison.

Judge Mettyear said: “The choice is either you find some way of doing some work, or you are going to go to prison.” He ordered the court file should be marked accordingly.

He allowed Santos to walk free. Outside court Santos said: “I will do the work. I did not steal as much as it is claimed in the paper.

“It is wrong.”

It is not the first time Santos has failed to comply with court directions.

When she appeared at Hull Crown Court in January she had not saved up the £1,000 compensation she had been asked for six-months before.

Santos claimed because her car had broken down she had spent £800 on repairs in November 2014 and only had £400 to offer her victim in January 2015.

She has been ordered she should pay £2,000 in compensation and complete 240-hours of unpaid work. Santos has a nine month suspended prison sentence hanging over her head for two years.