A pensioner has had £2,500 of her life savings stolen by a pickpocket in Buxton town centre, a court heard.
Ginka Sandeva, 28, of Coronation Street, Derby, was convicted of the theft, following a trial in her absence at High Peak Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday.
Maureen Jones, 70, had withdrawn £500 from the cash machine and £2,500 from the Halifax branch on Spring Gardens in Buxton on April 7 in order to give to her son-in-law to buy a tractor.
Prosecutor John Cooper said after leaving the bank, she crossed the road to Lomas Foods, and was followed by Sandeva and her accomplice.
Mrs Jones placed the brown envelope, containing the £2,500, in the pocket of her jacket, and £500 in her purse in her handbag.
CCTV footage showed a fair-haired woman look at the shelves of items in the doorway, blocking the victim’s entrance to the store, while the defendant hovered behind her.
Sandeva was then seen to dip her hand into Mrs Jones’ pocket covered by her scarf taking the envelope and then leaving the scene.
The court heard the victim only discovered the money was missing when she went to pay for her items at the till, prompting the shop owners to call the police.
Mrs Jones told magistrates it had been one of the worst years of her life.
She said: “I was very, very shaken, very shocked and very distressed. Together with illnesses, which I don’t know if they’re connected, I’ve had a horrendous year.
“It’s made me very depressed. It made me not want to go out for quite a while.”
Sandeva was arrested at Luton airport, after being identified in the footage after Derbyshire Police referred the matter to Romany street crime specialists who then alerted Bulgarian Police.
Chairman of the Bench Pam Ashton found Sandeva guilty and issued a warrant for her arrest.