Hammer woman tried to burgle friend’s house to get money for drugs

Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.
Hartlepool Law Courts, incorporating Hartlepool Magistrates' Court.

A mother of six tried to break in to the home of a friend to get money for drugs.

Cheryl Smailes was arrested after her DNA was found on a hammer left at the scene, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

“It appears she knows the victim and knew she was out at the time,” said Lorraine Cooper, prosecuting. “The glass in the rear UPVC door of the house in Glamis Walk was smashed.

“There was also damage to the door frame, although no one entered the property.

“A hammer left at the scene was forensically examined, and DNA matched to Smailes.

“She was frank with the police when interviewed, saying she had a heroin addiction which was costing her £40 a day to feed.

“Her recollection of that day is limited, but she said she went to the house alone and must have used the hammer to break the window.”

Smailes, 36, of Elderslie Walk, Hartlepool, admitted attempted burglary on July 8.

The court heard she has no previous convictions, but has other alleged offences of dishonesty which are yet to be dealt with.

Andrew Teate, defending, said in mitigation: “This is a familiar story to these courts, but nonetheless a very sad one.

“Ms Smailes lived a law abiding life for 30 years, but there has been a spate of offending due to her desperation to get money for drugs.

“She could be bailed for all matters to be dealt with together, but it would better serve her and the public if she could be sentenced today so that she can receive the help she needs sooner rather than later.

“The probation officer at court agrees this would be the best way forward for all concerned.

“Ms Smailes is in a dire state, but does want to take advantage of whatever help she can be offered.”

The magistrates sentenced Smailes to a 12-month community order, including a drug rehabilitation programme.

She was ordered to pay £240 in fines and costs, and £100 compensation to the owner of the door.

The money will be deducted weekly from Smailes’ benefits.