A GIRL who inherited £50,000 on her 18th birthday blew £33,000 in just over 12 months – and ended up claiming benefits and living in a garage.

Blackburn magistrates heard Jasmine Astin could not get access to the remaining money until she is 21 or she would probably have spent that as well.

Defence solicitor Andrew Church-Taylor said his client was a young woman who desperately needed some help and guidance in her life.

“In many ways hers is a tragic tale,” said Mr Church-Taylor.

“The money has gone, she is receiving benefits and at the moment she is living in a garage.”

Astin, 19, who gave her address as Shelley Drive, Baxenden, Accrington, but is actually living in a garage round the corner in Southwood Drive, pleaded guilty to criminal damage after scratching a car and threatening behaviour.

She was made subject to community supervision for 18 months and a restraining order for two years which prohibits her from having any contact with George Cropper or going within 50 metres of his home.

Helen Maden, of the probation service, described Astin as a “very needy and vulnerable young lady.”

“She has gone off the rails and found a lot of false friends with this money,” said Mrs Maden.

Mr Church-Taylor said Astin had been left close to £50,000 when her father died when she was 11-years-old.

She could not access the money until she was 18.

“When that day came she went out and started to spend,” said Mr Church-Taylor. “She was buying drinks around town and lending people money which, needless to say has not been repaid and never will be.

“It has left her with a significant problem with alcohol,” he said.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Mr Cropper was a repeat victim of the defendant who had pleaded guilty to harassing him when she appeared in court in July.

The latest incident occurred late at night when he heard her shouting outside his bedroom window.

“She said if he didn’t come outside she would “key” his car.

“The police were called and the defendant arrested,” said Miss Allan. “The next morning Mr Cropper examined his car and discovered that every panel had been scratched.”

It will cost £3,000 for the car to be re-sprayed.

Miss Allan said Astin had no convictions until March of this year, when she started to appear on a regular basis for being drunk and disorderly.

When spoken to by the police, Astin said she had damaged the car because Mr Cropper would not respond to her.

“She said it wouldn’t happen again because she had ‘got him back’,” said Miss Allan.