Addict from Burnley terrified widow and stole gems

Amanda Nerney

Amanda Nerney

First published in News
Last updated
by , Court reporter

A DRUG addict who stole a wedding ring and sentimental jewellery from a widow suffering from cerebral palsy has been jailed.

Amanda Nerney, 27, targeted vulnerable Patricia Cook, 52, because of her difficulties, a court heard.

She turned up at her home in Burnley asking to borrow cash.

Nerney, a convicted drug supplier, stole the victim's wedding and engagement rings and also a diamond ring. The haul had never been recovered.

Mrs Cook was left ‘shaken to the core’ and terrified of seeing the defen- dant in the street, Burnley Crown Court heard.

Nerney admitted theft, last July 17 and was jailed for six months.

The defendant, of Admiral Street, Burnley, has more than 20 offences on her record and was said to have had a long-term drug addiction.

Sarah Statham, prosecuting, said Mrs Cook had cerebral palsy and mild learning difficulties. She had help from carers and her sister.

She was at home when the intercom sounded. She had never had the defendant in her home before, but knew Nerney through her mother.

The defendant was allowed in. Miss Statham said Nerney asked if she could borrow £30, it was agreed money would be passed over and Mrs Cook left the defendant in the lounge while she went to the toilet.

She returned and gave Nerney £25. The defendant left, but went back a short time later and told the victim she had lost £10 of it already. Nerney asked for more money, but Mrs Cook didn’t want to give her any more.

A carer arrived to make the victim’s tea and Nerney was still sitting there when the carer left. The defendant eventually left and later that day Mrs Cook noticed the jewellery was missing.

The defendant was later arrested on August 23. She accepted she had been in Mrs Cook’s home and borrowed money she had never repaid, but made no admissions over the jewellery. Nerney had been to jail for drugs supply.

Lisa Robets, defending, said: “Taking one’s engagement and wedding rings, it’s hard to imagine more sentimental jewellery.”

Passing sentence, Judge Beverley Lunt said it was clear Nerney had made great efforts to turn her life around, but she had completely gone off the rails again. She told her: “Your actions have shaken the victim to the core. She’s got no confidence. She is terrified of seeing you on the street and that's going to last for some time, if not forever.”

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