A CRUEL-HEARTED woman who stole Christmas presents from under someone else's tree spent December 25 behind bars.

Blackburn magistrates heard Mary-Jane Gilheaney was involved in the theft from a house in Haslingden and later admitted selling the presents to fund her drug habit.

Gilheaney, 29, of Peel Street, Haslingden, pleaded guilty to burglary at a house in Maple Avenue and theft of Christmas presents worth £300 on Saturday, theft of Lego worth £120 from Tesco on December 9 and theft of electrical items worth £200 from Tesco on December 14.

She was sent to Burnley Crown Court to be sentenced and remanded in custody until she appears there on January 24.

Ruby McKeugh, prosecuting, said Gilheaney and another woman entered the house and stole the presents literally from under the tree.

"There was a considerable cash and emotional value to the gifts," said Miss McKeugh.

"She was arrested after trying to sell the presents to other members of the public."

When she was interviewed Gilheaney claimed the front door of the house had been open and they took the opportunity to steal the presents.

"She admitted selling some of the items because she has a bad drug habit," said Miss McKeugh.

Waseen Choudhary, defending, said his client accepted she was there and involved but claimed she had not entered the house.

"There is CCTV of the incident and that will have to be viewed at the Crown Court for them to decide the level of her involvement," said Mr Choudhary.