The desperate daughter of an alcoholic burglar told a court she would refuse him access to his grandchildren unless he sought help for his addiction.
Geoffrey Harding, 48, admitted breaking into a woman’s home while she was in, stealing her handbag and using a stolen cash card to withdraw £500 from a cashpoint minutes later.
Preston Crown Court heard that he was identified from CCTV at the cash machine.
Prosecuting, Nigel Booth said Harding had got into the house through an unlocked door and taken the handbag from the dining room.
He added: “At about 9.30pm the fact the back door was wide open was discovered by her daughter.
“Inside the handbag was personal possessions, a purse with £80 cash and bank cards with a small piece of paper containing a PIN. The court heard the frightened victim had since installed a £500 alarm system in her home.
She had been left distraught because the handbag had contained a sentimental handwritten document from her late father.
Defending Harding, Russell Davies told the judge Harding’s daughter, Roxanne, who was sitting in the public gallery and had written the judge a letter, was prepared to stand in the witness box and tell the court that she would refuse to let her dad see the family if he did not seek help. He said: “He had reached what is a well known phrase in Alcoholics Anonymous – rock bottom.”
Harding, of Halton Court, Morecambe, pleaded guilty to burglary and two thefts.
Recorder Corless gave him a 18-month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and made a supervision requirement.