A heroin addict who stole from a 64-year-old disabled man at a Croxteth newsagents was today spared jail.
Police released CCTV images after Gerard Stevenson was targeted at Sanghas newsagent鈥檚 in Lower House Lane.
Renee Weaver was arrested following an ECHO appeal over the incident, which took place at around 9pm on Tuesday, November 3 last year.
The 35-year-old initially denied any wrongdoing, but pleaded guilty to theft ahead of a trial at Liverpool Crown Court .
Weaver, of Belmont Drive, Tuebrook, admitted stealing £36 from Mr Stevenson, who uses two walking sticks to get around.
The victim鈥檚 son, Keith Stevenson, told the ECHO he was 鈥渄isgusted鈥?by Weaver鈥檚 actions, which knocked his dad鈥檚 confidence.
Speaking at the time, he said: 鈥淗e鈥檚 recently been in hospital for a month and has just started building up his confidence to go out.
鈥淭his has left him feeling vulnerable and shaken.?/p>
The mum has multiple previous convictions, including a sneak theft from an elderly victim, and robberies in 2003 and 2012.
She has been sentenced for possessing drugs, assault, affray, handling stolen goods, failing to surrender, false imprisonment, burglary and possessing a knife.
But Recorder Samantha Presland today said she was prepared to suspend Weaver鈥檚 jail sentence after hearing of the progress she had made.
Simon Berkson, defending, said Weaver was no longer living with an ex-partner, described as being a 鈥渂ad influence鈥?
He said she missed a drug rehabilitation assessment on June 21, because she was unaware of the appointment.
However, he said she then attended the meeting on July 13 and also went to see a drug and alcohol treatment charity.
Mr Berkson said: 鈥淪he has gone to Addaction. She is now on a script for Subutex, a heroin substitute, on a daily basis.
鈥淪he has started to have contact with her 18-year-old child again and most significantly, she has remained out of any criminal behaviour since the commission of this offence.?/p>
Recorder Presland said it was serious crime because of the 鈥渧ulnerability of the target鈥?
She said: 鈥淗e was on crutches at the time and there is indication he may have been singled out because of that and targeted.
鈥淵ou hassled him essentially, asking him for money which he eventually gave over to you. He was vulnerable.
鈥淚 have read the victim witness statement and he has been significantly affected by this. He has been less gregarious and concerned about going out.?/p>
The judge said she was pleased Weaver was 鈥減roactive鈥?in seeking support and 鈥渉eartened鈥?by the fact she was rebuilding the relationship with her eldest child.
Recorder Presland said: 鈥淚t鈥檚 only you who can deal with your heroin addiction and the demons that you are facing.
鈥淵ou are the only person who can ultimately help yourself.?/p>
The judge handed Weaver two years in prison, suspended for two years and ordered her to go on a drug rehabilitation programme.