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Woman who stole £28k from partner's grandfather avoids jail

Rosemary Atkinson leaving Carlisle Crown Court Photo: Craig McGlasson

A woman who stole almost £30,000 from her partner's elderly grandfather has been spared immediate prison.

Rosemary Atkinson, 30, plundered 82-year-old Thomas O'Pray's savings to fund her "out-of-control gambling habit".

Atkinson took £28,165 from Mr O'Pray during a four-month period in 2014. Carlisle Crown Court heard her innocent partner was arrested during the subsequent investigation, while the victim would not get all his money back.

Atkinson was sentenced today having admitted theft. She was said to have five children - the youngest being a son only five weeks old.

Judge Peter Davies suspended a two-year jail term for two years, concluding: "A boy that age needs his mother."

Atkinson must complete 250 hours' unpaid work and a four-month night-time curfew. Some £3,150 cash seized on her arrest would be handed over to Mr O'Pray as partial compensation.

Judge Davies told Atkinson, of Central Road, Whitehaven: "It is a truly disgraceful state of affairs of which you should be greatly ashamed."