Gravesend thief Michelle Roberts pleads guilty to stealing from her own family at uncle's wake

Gravesend thief Michelle Roberts pleads guilty to stealing from her own family at uncle's wake

Former Gravesend resident Michelle Roberts, 45, admitted four counts of theft and three of fraud at Basildon Crown Court today (Jan 20).

Michelle Roberts leaves Dartford Magistrates' Court on a previous occasion.

First published in News
Last updated
News Shopper: Photograph of the Author by , deputy news editor

A CAREER criminal has been told to expect at least six months in prison after pleading guilty to stealing bank cards, cash and shopping vouchers from her own family at her uncle's wake.

Former Gravesend resident Michelle Roberts, 45, admitted four counts of theft and three of fraud at Basildon Crown Court on Monday.

She was seen crying and shaking in the dock before putting in the guilty plea.

Prosecuting Tony Abelle told the court that when Roberts, who had not seen some of her family for 25 years, was at the wake in Shoebury, Essex ,she took four bank cards, £300 in John Lewis vouchers, a cheque book and £80 in cash from "vulnerable" family members.

Mr Abelle said: "She was seen by a family member hunched over a handbag in the living room rifling through it standing facing a wall.

"The lady didn't think anything of it till later when she discovered her bag open, her car keys on the window sill and her son's library card hidden behind a cushion.

"The defendant was also seen trying to distract people telling them to look at old photos so they would come away from their handbags."

Roberts, now of Bracondale Road, Abbey Wood, was also heard asking for people's addresses and dates of birth.

Members of the family became suspicious about her behaviour and in the following days discovered items were missing.

It was established four women had bank cards missing.

The day after the wake on December 19, 2011, Roberts used the bank cards to order CDs and DVDs on Cdwow.com and had the parcels delivered to her home address in Gravesend.

She also ordered £270 worth of goods from Asda online which included two mobile phones and an iPod dock which was discovered by police at her Ascot Road home in Gravesend.

The court heard that when Roberts was arrested she blamed the thefts on her partner, who was found later to have nothing to do with the crime.

In a lengthy police interview after her arrest in April 2012 she also admitted to spending the John Lewis vouchers.

She shouted repeatedly at her defence lawyer Steven Fitzpatrick across the court telling him "don't leave me alone'' and was heard saying he was her "only friend".

She then appeared calm and collected for the rest of the hearing.

Mr Fitzpatrick said Roberts had mental health issues and had been in an abusive relationship.

The court heard that in 2012 she stole from charity boxes in north Kent while pretending her teenage son had terminal cancer.

Roberts also admitted to stealing a purse from an 89-year-old lady while carrying out community payback at the Northfleet Sunday Lunch Club for the elderly.

She was locked up for 180 days after a suspended sentence she received in July 2012 was activated.

Roberts, who attended court with two of her sons and former partner, was released on unconditional bail until her sentencing in March while a psychological report is drafted.

A family member, who is in her 80s and did not want to be named, said outside court: "It has been two years of hell and I am glad she pleaded guilty and it is finally over."

Another family member wishing to remain anonymous, said he believed she came to the wake with the intention of stealing from attendees.

Judge Jonathon Black told Roberts: "You should prepare yourself for a custodial sentence the next time you come back here."

Comments (5)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:20pm Mon 20 Jan 14

paulbexleyheath says...

you dirty fukin scum bag piece of ****
you dirty fukin scum bag piece of **** paulbexleyheath
  • Score: 6

9:46am Tue 21 Jan 14

highway warrior says...

lock her up and throw away the key.....before she steals it!
lock her up and throw away the key.....before she steals it! highway warrior
  • Score: 11

9:59am Tue 21 Jan 14

DaveAbbeywood says...

Paul.....couldn't agree more. So let's recap......theft from charity boxes for a children's hospice in Gravesend, community service from a Sunday lunch club where she stole from a 89 year old lady, theft from her family members at her uncles wake....what's next...the Woolwich Ferry doesn't pass over low life worse than this. Well done News Shopper on keeping us aware and the streets safe........with Only Fools and Horses coming back their maybe an acting role for her there.....but hold onto your wallet Del and Rodders.....
Paul.....couldn't agree more. So let's recap......theft from charity boxes for a children's hospice in Gravesend, community service from a Sunday lunch club where she stole from a 89 year old lady, theft from her family members at her uncles wake....what's next...the Woolwich Ferry doesn't pass over low life worse than this. Well done News Shopper on keeping us aware and the streets safe........with Only Fools and Horses coming back their maybe an acting role for her there.....but hold onto your wallet Del and Rodders..... DaveAbbeywood
  • Score: 11

11:07am Tue 21 Jan 14

Gypo.Joe says...

Lower than a snakes belly Roberts.
Lower than a snakes belly Roberts. Gypo.Joe
  • Score: 23

8:47am Wed 22 Jan 14

kentlad says...

And shes a nurse??? wonder how many patients she has stolen off!!!
And shes a nurse??? wonder how many patients she has stolen off!!! kentlad
  • Score: 5

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree