A woman has been jailed for a distraction burglary targeting a vulnerable victim in Christchurch.

Samantha Jane Trickett, 35 and of Flambard Avenue, Christchurch, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Friday 26 April 2019 to two years in prison after admitting burglary and two charges of fraud by false representation.

On Thursday 10 May 2018 the victim, a woman aged in her 60s who suffers from mental health and mobility issues, was at her home in the Purewell area when there was a knock on the door at around 8.45pm.

A woman who was at the door claimed her bike chain had come off and asked if she could come in and wash her hands. The victim let her in and the woman then asked for a glass of water.

She sat down next to the victim on the sofa and was there for around five minutes. During this time, the victim went into the kitchen, leaving her handbag on the floor by the sofa.

Shortly after the woman left, the victim noticed her handbag was open and her purse was missing. The purse contained two bank cards, a bus pass, a key and £130 cash.

Police were contacted and further enquiries revealed one of the victim’s bank cards was used in two attempts to make transactions totalling £52 at Nisa and Premier Stores in Christchurch the following day, Friday 11 May 2018. The transactions failed as the cards had been cancelled.

An officer viewed CCTV of the transactions and identified Trickett as the woman carrying out the transactions. She was arrested later that day in Christchurch town centre.

Trickett initially admitted using the bank cards but claimed to know nothing about the burglary. Forensic examination of the glass the offender had drunk from at the victim’s home subsequently revealed a fingerprint match for the defendant and she entered guilty pleas to all offences at court.

Detective Constable Ben Swain, of Bournemouth CID, said: “Samantha Trickett tried to exploit a vulnerable victim and I am pleased that we were quickly able to identify her as the offender in this case.

“I would urge residents to be wary of letting anyone they don’t know into their home as sadly there are always offenders such as Trickett who will take advantage of the kindness of others.”

For more crime prevention advice visit www.dorset.police.uk/help-advice-crime-prevention/.

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