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Perranporth woman Catherine Barnes burgled house and stole a bath bomb

By CMJohannaCarr  |  Posted: January 22, 2014

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A PERRANPORTH woman walked into a family’s home, rifled through their drawers and stole one bath bomb out of a pack of three.

Catherine Barnes, 33, of St Pirans Road, entered the Hillary family home on Ponsmere Road in Perranporth on December 28 last year where three children and their mother were at home.

Mother Terena Hillary was having a bath when Barnes walked into the room.

At Truro Crown Court on Tuesday where Barnes pleaded guilty to burglary, Elaine Hobson, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Of course Mrs Hillary was very shocked to see her there.

“Catherine Barnes asks Mrs Hillary ‘is this a shared house?’”

Mrs Hillary’s husband Andrew then came home from the shops and Barnes explained she was looking for her friend.

Ms Hobson said the family realised that someone had searched drawers in the main bedroom and that one bath bomb had been removed from a packet of three.

The police later found Barnes at her flat and found the missing bath bomb in her handbag.

The court heard Barnes had a long record for dishonest offences including one previous dwelling house burglary where she stole a clementine.

Paul Gallagher, defending, said Barnes had a history of drug use and had suffered a number of upsets in the past year including the deaths of family members but that she was working to sort out her drug problem.

He added that she could offer no reasonable explanation as to why she took the bath bomb.

In a letter of apology written by Barnes to the Hillarys and read out in court, Barnes said she was absolutely disgusted with herself for what she described as a “total invasion of privacy”.

Sentencing Barnes, who was on remand at HMP Eastwood Park and appeared in court via video link, to eight months in prison suspended for 18 months, Judge Christopher Harvey Clark, QC, described the incident as “disturbing”.

He said: “You stole what is described as a bath bomb. I am told that the reason for that maybe connected with your drug habit … the apparent mystery of why you should take a bath bomb could be explained in [this] way.”

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2 comments

  • mosiemac  |  January 23 2014, 4:06PM

    pickled_egg... I couldn't agree with you more. You have stated the obvious perfectly.

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  • pickled_egg  |  January 23 2014, 3:01AM

    i genuinely feel sorry for this girl... yes these house owners must have been shocked, but COME ON!!! it was a bath bomb, not jewelry or money!! sentencing her to a 8 month suspended sentence cos she stole a BATH BOMB and a CLEMINTINE in the past, this is just ridiculous, i know people who have done a LOT worse and got a similar sentence.. and ok, i know stuff in papers and online dont exactly tell the full story, but surely her 'random thefts' rings alarm bells for her state of mental health and a need to know the background for why??? .. not a narrow minded view of 'automatically blaming it on a struggling drug addiction', its not like a bath bomb or a piece of fruit is going to buy her the next hit... sentencing her isn;t going to find out the reason why she did this, or even stop her in the future... the poor girl needs help, not a criminal record!

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