A DRUG addict who robbed a woman in the street before stealing a purse from a dentist’s staff room has been jailed for 20 months.

Simone Powell, 40, had denied robbing the woman in June last year but was found guilty following a trial earlier this year.

The jury heard how Powell, of no fixed abode, had approached another woman as she got out of her car,on Blackburn Road, Bolton, at around 2.15am on June 23, 2019.

She demanded money and a tussle broke out with the victim who alleged Powell was armed with a knife although this could not proven in court.

At Bolton Crown Court, where Powell appeared for sentencing via a video link from HMP Styal in Cheshire, Daniel Calder, prosecuting, said that two days prior to the robbery, Powell had been spotted in the reception area of Synergy Dental Clinic on Blackburn Road, Bolton, at around 8.30am.

She was then seen by a staff member in a private staff room, Mr Calder told the court.

But when she was confronted she said she had been “looking for an apple” and left the building shortly afterwards.

Another staff member later discovered that a purse containing various bank cards had been stolen from her handbag.

And when police officers arrested Powell they found the same cards in her possession.

Mr Calder added that just six days before the robbery, Powell, who pleaded guilty to burglary and two counts of fraud, had appeared at Bolton Magistrates’ Court for a public order offence.

She had a long record of similar offences including burglary and robbery.

Kyra Badman, defending, said at the time of the offending Powell was “desperate for money for drugs and food” and had “struggled with periods of homelessness” as well as suffering at the hands of an abusive former boyfriend.

She added that Powell had been held in custody since July 24 last year.

Sentencing Powell, Judge Timothy Stead, said he acknowledged that she had “a number of difficulties and a history of drug addiction”.

Judge Stead told the court he hoped she would get the help she required from the probation services, on her release from prison, which will be in around three months time due to the time she had already served on remand.