A thief stole jewellery and a cash box from an 81-year-old before stabbing another woman with a nail file.
Sara Townley talked her way into the pensioner’s Dundee home before becoming involved in a Valium-fuelled fracas on an adjacent street.
The 34-year-old is now locked-up after she admitted the theft and two assaults in August last year.
Dundee Sheriff Court heard how the elderly woman suffered from depression and panic attacks following the incident.
Snatched purse and cash box
Prosecutor Stewart Duncan revealed Townley visited the woman’s home on Ravenscraig Road at around 10.20am to ask for a cigarette.
He said: “The witness allowed her in but advised her she was going out.
“The accused then asked for a drink of water.
“The accused was sitting in a chair and when she stood up, she (the pensioner) saw a purse fall onto the floor.
“She thought it was familiar but was keen to get the accused out of the house.
“She and the accused left and she saw her walk towards a flat on Craigowan Road.
“However, she later realised that her cash box and purse was missing.”
Stabbed woman repeatedly on head and body
The pensioner went to confront Townley and she denied stealing the cash box but it was visible from the carrier bag she was clutching.
Louise Shields, who was with Townley, reacted angrily to the allegations and Townley grabbed her hair and threatened to stab her.
The incident spilled into the common close and Townley turned her attention to Tracey Young, who tried to split up the fight.
Mr Duncan added: “A voice was heard to shout ‘she’s got a knife’ and the accused was seen with a sharp, silver object and began to stab her repeatedly on the head and body.
“The accused then stopped and ran off towards South Road.”
Police were called and discovered a nail file Townley had thrown into a garden.
Ms Young suffered several small wounds to her head.
All of the items stolen were of low value and returned to the pensioner.
Townley, a prisoner of HMP Edinburgh, admitted stealing from the home of the woman, now 82, on August 18, a cashbox, a purse, a watch, a ring and two necklaces.
At a flat on Craigowan Road and in the common close, Townley pulled Louise Shields’ hair and threatened to stab her before pulling Ms Young’s hair and repeatedly striking her on the head and body with a nail file to her injury.
Townley was also found in possession of heroin at police headquarters on West Bell Street.
Effect on the victim
Solicitor Linda Clark said, on the previous evening, drug user Townley had been subjected to a serious assault and was “extremely upset”.
She said: “She felt the police were not giving her the attention the complaint merited.
“During the morning of August 18, she had taken a quantity of Valium.
“Her recollection of the events are clouded.”
Sheriff Alastair Brown jailed Townley for two years and four months.
He said: “You victimised a vulnerable lady in her own home.
“This caused her depression, panic attacks and some sleeplessness.
“Voluntary intoxication, whether it is through drugs or anything else, is not mitigation.
“You take responsibility for what you do.”