A MAN who financed a fortnight ‘‘on the batter’’ in Blackpool by stealing his girlfriend’s birthday cash was jailed on Monday.
Harrogate magistrates heard how Ann Gill had been given £1,000 by a relative so she could take a foreign holiday to mark her 50th birthday.
But while she was making a phone call to her sick sister George Lumby, with whom she had had an on-off relationship for eight years, took the cash and fled.
Prosecutor Kathryn Reeve said 56-year-old Lumby, who pleaded guilty to theft, was the only person other than Ms Gill who knew the money, in £20, £10 and £5 notes, had been left in an envelope in a chest of drawers at her home in Woodfield Drive, Harrogate, on February 8.
Miss Reeve said 10 days later the cash disappeared along with Lumby. When Ms Gill returned from talking with her sister in another room she found the door to her flat was open.
And when she discovered cash left on a fireplace was missing she checked for her £1,000 and found that had gone too. So had Lumby who had not taken any of his clothing with him, other than a jacket she had bought him as a birthday present.
Miss Reeve said Ms Gill’s initial reaction had been one of ‘‘not again’’ as previous sums had been taken from her without her calling the police.
But this time she did. And when shC e also called Lumby, for an explanation, he did not respond other than to send a couple of text messages which did not disclose his whereabouts.
Police tracked down Lumby, who was by then homeless and living rough, and arrested him in the early hours of Sunday morning. He admitted theft and said he had taken a taxi to Leeds and the following day had gone to Blackpool where he booked into a bed and breakfast for two weeks.
Asked how he had spent the cash he replied: ‘‘I battered it and enjoyed myself.’’
In court Lumby, who declined legal representation, refused to offer any mitigation. ‘‘I am not going to say anything,’’ he told court chairman David Uffindall who sent him to prison for 16 weeks.