A heartless thief who stole cash from a pensioner’s purse that had been left behind in a pub has been ordered to pay hundreds of pounds in compensation.
Derby magistrates’ court recently heard how Nigel Oliver, 55, of Hayeswood Road, Stanley Common, Ilkeston, snatched the money after he spotted the purse in a booth at The Standing Order pub, in Derby.
But Oliver was tracked down after he had been caught on CCTV and he was identified by the pub manager.
Lynn Bickley, prosecuting, said: “The victim had attended The Standing Order in Iron Gate with her husband on January 26, but she left her purse by accident in the booth.
“She was sure that she left £420 in the purse.”
The 73-year-old pensioner was heartbroken because she was going to use the money to buy her grandchild a birthday present, according to police.
Oliver, who claimed the purse contained £235, pleaded guilty to the theft.
Police who appealed for help from the public at the time of the offence said some of the money was going to be used to buy a present for the victim’s grandchild.
Miss Bickley added: “CCTV footage showed a male going to the booth, noticing the bag, sitting down and going through the bag.
“It shows the male putting something into his pocket from the bag.
“The male was identified from the footage as Mr Oliver by the manager as he was a regular.”
The victim stated that she no longer wants to go out shopping and the offence had left her feeling sick.
Paul McLeod, defending, said Oliver cannot explain why he did it and it seemed to have been done on the spur of the moment.
District Judge Jonathan Taaffe described the case as a mean and despicable offence that has left an elderly woman traumatised.
Oliver was ordered to carry out a 12 week community order with a curfew at his home between 8pm and 6am.
He must also pay £400 compensation and an £85 victim surcharge.
District Judge Taaffe told Oliver: “The fact that has saved you from prison today is that it was a spur of the moment offence.
“Had this been a targeted offence you would be going to prison now.”