A milkman has avoided an immediate prison sentence after stealing money from an elderly customer.
Kyle Rosemurgey, 21, of Appletree Gardens, Whitley Bay, was given a 12-month sentence, suspended for 24 months, when he appeared at Newcastle Crown Court.
He was convicted by a jury on four counts of burglary from a dwelling and a single count of theft from a person on Thursday, February 12.
Rosemurgey was working as a milkman in the North Shields area at the time of the offence and the victim, a 93-year-old woman, was one of his long-standing customers.
The court heard that due to her age and vulnerability she would leave her door open so he could let himself in and deliver her milk.
But he took advantage of the trust she put him in and stole money.
He was caught after the victim and her family noticed the missing money and identified that Rosemurgey was responsible.
As well as his suspended sentence, Rosemurgey was ordered to carry out 200 hours of unpaid work.
He must also pay £130 compensation and a £100 victim surcharge.
Sergeant Steve Nicholson, from North Shields neighbourhood policing team, said: “It is a terrible and frightening thing to know that a person you trust, and rely upon, is stealing your money behind your back.
“Protecting the vulnerable in our communities is high on our priorities.
“The offender has abused his position of trust and took his role as an opportunity to steal cash instead.”
“It has been satisfying to bring this person to justice and bring some form of comfort to his victim and her family during this terrible ordeal.”