PENSIONER welfare groups have reacted angrily after a drug addict who conned her way into the homes of lone elderly women was jailed for 14 months.

Mother-of-three Rebecca Duxbury, 22, struck almost 20 times in Blackburn, deliberately and repeatedly targeting the same, often confused and trusting, victims in a bid to fund her £40-a-day heroin habit, Burnley Crown Court heard.

She was said to have "wandered from one old person's home to another," taking advantage of them and cruelly repaying their kindness by helping herself to their cash in a short, intense crime spree in January.

A spokesperson for Help the Aged said the crimes were "shameful" and Age Concern said they were "heartless."

Duxbury, of Taylor Close, Blackburn, admitted six burglaries and asked for 12 burglaries and one attempted burglary to be committed.

David Pickup, prosecuting, told the court the defendant arrived at the 91-year-old's home on the pretext of providing help, but stole £20 to £40.

At the home of a 77-year-old woman, Duxbury claimed she was being harassed by a gang of men. The woman took pity on her but the defendant made off with £50 cash.

Mr Pickup said Duxbury also turned up at the home of an 83-year-old, who believed she was one of her carers. The defendant took £20 from the bedrooms.

Duxbury also struck at the sheltered accommodation home of an 81-year-old, claiming to be her home help. She took the victim's £1.50 window cleaning money when the woman went to make her a cup of tea.

Martin Hackett, defending, said the offences were disgraceful. He said Duxbury offended while labouring under a substantial drug addiction and while leading a very chaotic lifestyle.

Mr Hackett added that the defendant had detoxified from heroin and had now been drug- free for three months.