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Woman tried to rob her own mother in Wetherspoons pub after benefits row

A woman attempted to rob her own mother in a Hull Wetherspoons after she ran out of benefit money, a court heard.

Julie Chaplin tried to snatch her mother’s handbag – which contained some £400 cash, her bank card and her bus pass, as well as her mobile phone and house keys – in the Admiral of the Humber pub just after midnight on October 6 last year.

Yesterday (Tuesday, May 9) at Hull Crown Court Chaplin, 38, pleaded guilty to robbery.

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Benjamin Donnell, prosecuting, told the court that it had previously been agreed that Chaplin's benefit money would be paid into her mother's bank account and that the mother would then give her the cash.

Chaplin’s mother withdrew £300 from a cash machine on October 5 but only gave her £200 because she was already owed £100.

Later that day, reports the Hull Daily Mail, Chaplin turned up at her mother's home and demanded more money.

Chaplin, who was homeless, said that she had spent the other money on a party. She had £70 of her benefit money left in her mother's bank account, so the mother gave her £60 cash there and then. This was the amount of cash that she had on her at the time.

Her mum planned to withdraw the £60 for herself to pay back the loan.

When Chaplin demanded even more money, her mother refused, saying she did not like going to a cash machine at night because it was dark.

"The defendant came in one last time and told her that she was going to take her bag," said Mr Donnell. "The defendant went to grab her handbag strap and started to pull on it. The mother tried to resist and lean in the other direction to stop her taking her bag."

Chaplin forcefully pulled the bag and the mother fell to the floor and let go. "The defendant ran away with it [the bag]," said Mr Donnell. The mother suffered a large bruise on her upper right arm.

Chaplin was arrested but told police that she could not recall what she did that day. She answered "no comment" to questions about the robbery.

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Her mother later said: "I am shocked – shocked that my daughter could do something like that to me. I was crying at the time of the incident and it takes a lot to upset me. I am worried that she will turn up again, ask me for money and cause issues."

Stephen Robinson, mitigating, said: "It was a disgraceful act by the defendant, notwithstanding her problems at the time, and the defendant appreciates that. She is sorry and hopes for a future relationship with her mother.

"She realises that she will have to take things delicately and she has got a lot to make up for her actions."

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Chaplin, who has children herself, had been on remand at New Hall prison, near Wakefield, West Yorkshire, for about seven months. Recorder Felicity Davies told her: "I don't want to minimise the very considerable upset that you caused to your own mother. It's crucial for your future that you have accommodation to go to on your release, as an absolute minimum.

"You need assistance to get a bank account and you need some oversight to help you keep off drugs and too much alcohol."

Chaplin was jailed for 16 months but, because of the time that she had spent in custody on remand, she was expected to be released within two weeks. Her remaining time in custody would be used to try to find accommodation for her before her release.

"You will have to take responsibility for trying to avoid drugs and too much alcohol," said Recorder Davies.


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