A woman stole a pensioner’s purse - but claimed she tried to return it by posting it in a postbox.
The bright red purse was left by the 74-year-old inside the Co-op food store in Meltham.
Lesley Morton was caught on CCTV using a newspaper to conceal it as she picked it up before leaving the shop, Kirklees magistrates heard.
The 65-year-old insisted that she made a mistake as the purse was the same colour as hers.
However, she pleaded guilty to theft when she appeared at the Huddersfield court.
Andy Wills, prosecuting, said that the offence occurred at the Huddersfield Road store on October 30.
The victim had used the cash point inside the store, withdrawing a considerable amount of money. She placed £40 of this inside her purse and put the down on a set of boxes but forgot it.
Morton had also gone to the cash point and was seen on CCTV standing in the queue.
My Wills said: “She picked up a newspaper and was seen to put it over the complainant’s purse, conceal it and bend down onto the floor as if she had dropped something.”
The court heard that Morton, of Osprey Drive in Netherton, then put the purse inside her bag and left the store.
The victim then realised that her purse was missing when she went to catch a bus, returned to the shop but it had already gone.
Her bus pass and bank cards were also inside the purse.
Mr Wills said: “She was shaking and didn’t know what to do. To her £40 is not an insignificant amount as she is on a state pension.
“She was in a terrible state and panicking about cancelling her credit cards.”
Mr Wills added that the victim said her purse would have been easy to identify as her photo and bus pass were on the outside.
Bob Carr, mitigating, said: “Her purse is bright red and the other one stolen was bright red.
“She put the paper by the side of the purse and put it in her bag.
“Once she realised she had the wrong purse she told her husband to stop the car so she could put it in a postbox.
“She should have returned it to police or the store.”
Magistrates heard that the victim made enquiries about this with the Post Officer but her purse could not be found.
Magistrates gave Morton a 12-month conditional discharge.
She must pay £60 compensation as well as £85 costs and £20 victim surcharge.