A WOMAN who left a trail of blood behind her after breaking into a number of shops has been jailed for six months.

Claire Louise Townsend, from Clayton-le-Moors, was handed the sentence at Blackburn Magistrates Court.

Townsend smashed her way into Homewise Home Improvement Agency and Hyndburn Stray Dogs In Need Charity on Whalley Road, Accrington, on Thursday, November 1.

The 31-year-old stole cash from the charity shop and left a trail of blood behind.

She was arrested on Wednesday morning after officers identified her from the charity shop’s CCTV footage, which showed her using a large rock to break the shop’s front window before getting on her hands and knees to crawl into the premises.

Following the arrest, Townsend admitted both offences, claiming she needed the cash to fund her drug addiction.

A police spokesman said: “She was remanded in custody on Wednesday morning and appeared later the same day at Blackburn Magistrates Court.”

After hearing both sides of the case, a district judge said he believed Townsend had not had enough time in prison to obtain sufficient help regarding her drug habit, and said that a longer sentence would hopefully help her gain the extra support she needed over a longer sustained period of time.

Following the break-in at the dog charity, volunteer Stephen Wood said the clean-up and repairs would cost around £1,000.

He said: “The mess was really quite significant and there was blood everywhere.

“Not only has this person stolen and caused us damage, but they’ve stolen from the general public as they are who we get all of our funding from.

“We are a small charity trying to help dogs in need, it’s very disappointing,” he added.