A 20-YEAR-OLD man stole money from a bedside cabinet as his seriously ill mum slept in her hospital bed.

Blackburn magistrates heard Craig Malcolm Keary was spotted by a nurse as he stole £800, which was his mum’s disability living allowance that had built up during her time in hospital.

A police dog later found the purse but the money was missing and had not been recovered.

Keary, of Swift Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to theft of £800 belonging to Louise Murphy. He was remanded on bail until August 21 for the preparation of a pre-sentence report.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said when the offence took place Mrs Murphy had been in hospital for five weeks.

“She was asleep on the ward when a nurse saw the defendant come in and remove a purse from the bedside cabinet,” said Miss Allan.

Peter King, defending, said the offence had been committed in November and since then Mrs Murphy had been discharged from hospital.

“She has forgiven her son,” said Mr King. “They spoke on New Year’s Eve and she said she would endeavour to withdraw her complaint.”

Mr King said Keary had wanted money for a deposit on his own accommodation.

“Immediately after the incident he regretted what he had done and has regretted it ever since,” said Mr King.

“He accepts his mum was vulnerable in the circumstances.”