Former addict stole £15,500 of wedding money

Natasha Warnern (left) walked free from court after stealing �15,500 from a Bridlington man
Natasha Warnern (left) walked free from court after stealing �15,500 from a Bridlington man

A former heroin addict stole the £15,500 life savings of a Bridlington man who had intended to use it to pay for his daughter’s wedding.

Natasha Warner, 32, learned a man had put the money from the sale of his caravan under his bed in his new Bridlington flat for safe keeping.

When she visited his home she hatched a plan to steal it while feigning illness on a day out to the beach with his partner and family.

Natasha Warner, 32 of Thorngate Street, Kettering, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of £15,500 on July 28 2013 when she appeared at Hull Crown Court for trial (Tuesday June 2). Her co-accused Jessica Topham, 25, of Bath Street, Kettering and her brother Zac Warner, 26, of Cobden Street, Kettering, both pleaded not guilty to handling stolen goods and were found not guilty.

Crown barrister Caroline Wigin said the victim was a man who sold his caravan in the resort and moved to a flat in Bridlington. She said the money represented his life savings which he had earmarked to help pay for his daughter’s wedding.

Ms Wigin when Jessica Topham went to stay at the man’s house she learnt of the savings.

On July 28 2013 Natasha Warner went to stay with Jessica Topham and went out for the day to the beach. However, Warner made an excuse she was ill and left the beach only for Ms Topham to follow her.

The money was subsequently found to be missing from the Bridlington house along with the two women’s bags and they were never seen by the man again.

The police were informed. Over a period of days Zac Warner returned the money to the victim in large measure leaving £2,000 outstanding.

The court heard Natasha Warner had a string of convictions including burglary and handling stolen goods going back to 2004. At the time of the latest offence she was on licence for the supply of class A drugs in April 2013 for which she was given an 18-month suspended prison sentence.

“She has a history of use of class A drugs, but is now on a script for methadone,” said defence barrister Julian Lynch. He said she had deep-vein thrombosis and was unable to work, but had stayed out of trouble since the theft and paid most of the money back.

Sentencing, Judge Mark Bury told Natasha Warner: “I am going to pass a sentence which means you retain your liberty.

“This will be your last chance. Any repeat of this offending and I will reserve this case and I have made a note in my diary that the alternative will be 12-months in prison.

“I can’t order compensation because you don’t have any money. But if you have anything about you, you will pay this money back.”

He ordered Warner should be given a 24-month community order and allowed her to walk free.