A female burglar who broke into an occupied house was given a suspended sentence and was told by a judge she would be in prison if she “were a man”.
Terry Remmer broke into a house in Washington, near Newcastle, last August in the early hours of the morning whilst a “frightened” old man hid upstairs, the Sunderland Echo reports.
Prosecutor Paul Newcombe told the court that the occupier was so frightened he text his daughter for help. By the time she and her boyfriend arrived, the female burglar had left, making off with a camera and other possessions.
Mr. Newcombe said: “This case was an occupied dwelling house burglary and the occupant was disturbed.
“He awoke at 5am to hear someone was creeping around the house. He heard items being moved and he was frightened.
“The entry was gained through an insecure patio door.”
The court heard that Ms. Remmer, a 23-year-old mother of one, had numerous previous convictions for theft and shoplifting. Her defence argued that she had turned to drugs after developing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and claimed she “deeply remorseful”.
The recorder judge, Mark Lowe, QC, handed her a suspended sentence of 18 months, and she was ordered to complete a 30-day rehabilitation programme.
Recorder Lowe said: “The gravity is that if you were a man you would be going to prison today.
“But I have to take into account not only your welfare but the welfare of your child,” he added.