A DRUG user who burgled her 96-year-old grandmother and repeatedly burgled and defrauded her parents has been spared a trip to prison for the second time.

Claire Helen Metcalfe broke into her elderly relative's home while she was out at a local community centre and stole money from her purse, said Rob Galley, prosecuting.

She was forbidden to go to her parents' house while they were on holiday.

But she did so repeatedly during their absence. There she stole items and rifled through their letters.

Then she used the information she had gained to apply for credit cards and take out a £5,000 loan in their names.

The hearing was the second time she had been before York Crown Court for similar offences against her family.

Last December Judge Simon Hickey gave her a 20-month suspended prison sentence on condition she did a drug rehabilitation requirement and other activities.

Probation officers prepared a report on her progress in carrying out the December sentence before the latest hearing.

“If she hadn’t being doing so well on the order, there would be only one sentence,” said the judge.

But she had taken the chance he had given her and shown that he had been right to listen to her family in December and not send her straight to jail.

He suspended a two-year sentence for 18 months and ordered her to do another nine-month drug rehabilitation requirement and 10 days’ rehabilitative activities.

“Thank you very much for giving me a chance,” she said. “I won’t let you down.”

Metcalfe, 35, of Springhill Court, Tadcaster, pleaded guilty to four charges of theft, three of burglary, one of attempted burglary and one of fraud, all committed last autumn before she was sentenced in December.

Mr Galley said one of the thefts was from a car owned by someone not related to the family.

All the other offences were against Metcalfe’s relatives.

The grandmother came home while Metcalfe was burgling her house.

She told Metcalfe to go, checked her purse and found £30 missing.