A HEROIN addict burgled the Worcester home of a paramedic while the frontline NHS worker was out saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic. Klair Bradshaw, who has been addicted to the class A drug for more than quarter of a century, carried out the ‘mean’ burglary in Oldbury Road, St John’s, Worcester.

The frail addict, who has since got herself clean of drugs, has 34 previous convictions for 111 offences, including for shoplifting and burglary. Haggard and appearing much older than her 51 years, the defendant of Milward Close, Worcester, coughed violently and at one stage fell over in the dock, prompting the judge to ask if she was well.

She admitted the burglary and five counts of shoplifting when she appeared before Judge Nicolas Cartwright at Worcester Crown Court on Friday.

The burglary took place at a multi-occupancy house on April 26 this year after the paramedic had left for work at 6am.

Amanda O’Mara, prosecuting, said the paramedic went to bed at 12.30am when she noticed her belongings strewn across the floor of her bedroom. A handbag under her desk had gone missing and her jewellery, a passport and a purse which contained her store cards had been stolen. A £180 speaker had also been taken from the garden.

The occupiers told a scenes of crime officer they believed the burglar must have gained entry through a side gate.

On May 1 a concerned resident saw the defendant going towards the back gate of her home and attempted to take a photo of her as she walked away.

Police were contacted and a woman fitting Bradshaw’s description was seen in Solitaire Avenue in St John’s. She was stopped and searched but ‘did not have anything on her’ said Miss O’Mara. In Bradshaw’s house, however, they found the handbag taken during the burglary and she was also picked out during an identity parade. “The only item recovered was the bag,” said Miss O’Mara.

She further admitted theft of a fake Christmas tree from Wilko in Worcester on December 13 last year, shoplifting from Waitrose in London Road on January 30 this year which she did as part of a group, theft of three bottles of vodka from Sainsbury’s in Windermere Drive on February 18 this year and thefts from Co-op and Worcester Garden Centre on March 28 this year.

She stole £100 worth of plants from outside the garden centre which had been closed due to the pandemic and £62 worth of groceries from Co-op.

Mark Sheward, prosecuting, said: “It won’t come as any surprise to learn that these are offences committed to fund a heroin dependency.”She had become addicted to the drug when she was first married and had been a user ever since, some 30 years, said the city solicitor. He said at the time of the offences she had been living on the street for two years together with her partner of 25 years.

In June she had been admitted to hospital with pneumonia where she spent eight weeks, took part in a detox programme and had not used drugs at all since, the solicitor told the judge.

“She has the resolve now to remain drug free. This is perhaps her best chance in many years to remain drug free” he said, adding: “If she continues to use drugs as she was and drink as she was she isn’t going to reach old age. This is probably her last chance to rid herself of the evils of drugs and of drink.”

Judge Nicolas Cartwright said: “The most serious offence is the burglary which was a really mean offence committed against a woman who was training as a paramedic of all things once the coronavirus lockdown had started.”

Judge Cartwright told Bradshaw that she must have known her victim was a paramedic if she had watched her coming and going from the house. He also told her it must have been obvious her victim was living in a room on her own with a modest lifestyle and a few possessions.

He added: “Yet you helped yourself, no doubt selling them to raise money for drugs and drink.” Though the offence crossed the custody threshold the judge also took into account her poor mental health and drug and alcohol addiction and her eight week stay in hospital. He imposed a community order for 18 weeks to include 26 rehabilitation activity requirement days. Bradshaw was also placed on a six month curfew between 7pm and 7am.