Sisters jailed for 'mean offences' against vulnerable victims

Sarah Harcourt (left) and Sally Harcourt have spent years terrorising some of the most vulnerable pe

Sarah Harcourt, left, and Sally Harcourt were sentenced in Norwich Crown Court on Thursday - Credit: Archant

Two Norwich sisters with more than 100 criminal convictions between them have been jailed for stealing from vulnerable people they had befriended.

Sally and Sarah Harcourt, 44 and 41, of Thatched Pavilion Court, had both pleaded guilty to two counts of theft on March 8 at Singer Court, Calvert Street.

Sally Harcourt had also pleaded guilty to a handling offence of a mobile phone belonging to a man she had befriended, while Sarah Harcourt gave the same plea for a second breach of a CBO for approaching a person over the age of 65. 

Sally Harcourt at Norwich Crown Court.Picture: STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER

Sally Harcourt at a previous Crown Court appearance in Norwich - Credit: Archant

A sentencing hearing at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday afternoon heard the sisters had a history of previous convictions - 69 for Sally Harcourt and 42 for Sarah Harcourt. 

Prosecuting, Jude Durr said Sally Harcourt had persuaded her victim to use a mobile phone which she then used to steal £50.

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They then befriended another vulnerable victim over the age of 65 from who Sarah stole £100.

Sarah Harcourt's barrister Jonathan Goodman said she had entered guilty pleas to avoid the "rather unpleasant" cross-examination and had accepted her actions were "mean". 

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And Sally Harcourt's probation officer Alan Cockerill said she was a recovering heroin addict, who "may be considered to be in denial" over her addiction.

Mr Cokerill added: "She would like to stop taking drugs and alcohol, and will engage with all agencies provided to help her. She suffers from bipolar, anxiety and depression.

"She firmly believes a sentence will be a benefit to her and help her to stabilise in prison." 

Her barrister John Morgans told the court: "She has a very tragic story with a childhood exposure to drugs and no guidance from parents." 

Recorder Guy Ayers said: "These were thoroughly mean offences. You targeted vulnerable people with a view to stealing and taking advantage of them.

"You have no compassion or remorse whatsoever. It's a way of raising money no doubt for addictions and you need the money for illicit substances."

He also said it was "refreshing" to hear one of them express a desire to "turn the corner".

Both were sentenced for 12 months for a breach of their CBOs and six months for two thefts which will run concurrently.

Mr Ayers said a new CBO is designed to protect vulnerable people in housing and will be punishable by five years' imprisonment if breached by both.

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