Burlgar Attempts to Steal Cigarettes Through Cat Flap at Former Partner's Home

PUBLISHED: 08:47 07 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:38 04 May 2010

HARD up Catherine Spinks was so desperate for a cigarette that she burgled her ex-girlfriend s home, by sticking her arm through the cat flap. Using a stick she tried to knock a pack of cigarettes off a kitchen work surface --- but her former partner Jenn

HARD up Catherine Spinks was so desperate for a cigarette that she burgled her ex-girlfriend's home, by sticking her arm through the cat flap.

Using a stick she tried to knock a pack of cigarettes off a kitchen work surface --- but her former partner Jennifer Morgan heard the racket she was making, and found her kneeling in the doorway.

"Spinks then got up, and ran through the back gate and out of the garden," prosecutor Yetunde Fawehinmi told Ely magistrates on Thursday.

Spinks - who used to live with her former partner at an address in Brook Street, Soham - admitted burgling the premises on October 19 with intent to steal.

Jennifer Morgan, a nurse, had been asleep in bed around 2.30pm when she heard a noise, and discovered Spinks at the door with her arm through the door, said Mrs Fawehinmi.

Spinks and Jennifer Morgan's three year relationship had ended during the summer, said solicitor Michael Judkins. Spinks continued to live at the Brook Street address as a lodger, until moving into a bed-sit early last month.

"She was unemployed and suffered financial difficulties," he explained. "It was a desperate situation, she was going without food.

Spinks had gone to her former home on October 19 to collect her bicycle from a shed, intending to sell it, but was unable to get into the shed.

"In that situation she was desperate, she saw the cigarettes on the work top a few feet away, and very stupidly she tried to reach through the cat flap to get access to the cigarettes.

"She was a lady with an impeccable character, it is a pity this has been her first brush with the law."

Spinks, of West Drive Gardens, Soham, was given an 18-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £50 costs.

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