Thief says she cannot work

Julie Santos, stole �4,000 from an old lady she was caring for in Bridlington.
Julie Santos, stole �4,000 from an old lady she was caring for in Bridlington.

A convicted thief who stole £3,694 from a 73-year-old pensioner cannot complete her 240-hours unpaid work in the community because she has a “bad knee”.

Within two months of being told she was very lucky not to be going to jail, Julie Santos says she cannot complete the alternative punishment of volunteering in a Driffield charity shop, Hull Crown Court heard (Monday March 16).

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.

Santos appeared at Hull Crown Court on Monday March 16 to explain why she could not complete her punishment.

Probation barrister Julia Baggs told the court Santos was unable to do the work at a charity shop because she had produced a doctor’s note.

Judge Mark Bury said he was unhappy with the situation because the alternative punishment would not be complied with so soon after sentence.

“She was very lucky not to be going to prison,” said Judge Bury. “Now two months later she says she cannot do unpaid work. Surely she was asked if she was fit to do unpaid work? Couldn’t she do light duties, if she says she has got a bad knee?”

“I want to know more from her doctor. I regard her as extremely fortunate not to be sent to prison. I am unimpressed that a few weeks after the order she wants to get out of it. I am going to adjourn to find out precisely when this illness came on and the implications of it.”

Santos asked the judge if she could speak, but Judge Bury said because he would not be deciding the issue it was not necessary. He said the case should go back to Judge Mettyear. He warned her: “You do realise one of the options is to revoke this order and send you to prison.” He allowed Santos to walk free from court.