A THIEF who stole an East Lancashire man’s mobile phone while he was having a stroke has been spared a jail sentence by Burnley magistrates.

But Emma Jane Woods, 27, has been told she must find just under £500 to replace the handset she took from Andrew Moulding, at the Tesco Express store, in Colne.

Mr Moulding, who suffered his second stroke during the incident on Sep-tember 5 last year, has already branded Woods ‘despicable’ and ‘disgusting’.

An earlier hearing was told that the woman had approached staff as they tended to the victim, at the Market Street mini-market, claiming she knew his family.

Mr Moulding had collapsed after attending a friend’s funeral, and Woods took his phone and glasses.

The next thing he remem-bered was waking up in hospital.

Woods returned the glass-es, magistrates were told, but the phone, which cont-ained a number of treasur-ed photos and other down- loads, was never recovered.

Appearing for sentence, Woods, of Fulham Street, Nelson, was given a 20-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, by magis-trates, alongside a 12-month supervision order.


The maximum sentence she could have received for theft was six months in pris-on.

She was told she must attend alcohol-related activ- ity requirements, arranged by Lancashire Probation Ser- vice, for 15 days as part of her punishment.

And Woods must also pay £499.99 in compensation, at £5 per week, to Mr Moulding so he can replace the Sony Experia mobile which she stole.

Woods was known to her victim because she had been involved in a relat-ionship previously with his younger brother.

She has previous convic-tions for theft and racially- aggravated assault, and caut- ions for dishonesty, dam-age, drugs and violence.