A CLEANER who stole £1,500 from a client showed no remorse when questioned by police, a court heard.

Christine Appleton, 56, who had worked for R&M Cleaning for ten years but only had one client in Hurworth, near Darlington, said prosecutor Lorraine Cooper.

She said the female homeowner, who lived with her elderly mother, was saving for a car and had hidden £2,100 in her wardrobe.

Mrs Cooper told magistrates in Newton Aycliffe that when she went to check her money last May only £800 was left and that Appleton was the only other person with access.

"She noted down the serial numbers of the bank notes. Appleton then came to clean the house and the homeowner counted the money after she had left and found another £200 was missing," she added.

The police arrested Appleton, of Easson Road, Darlington, and at first she denied the theft and said the money was hers.

However, when confronted with the serial numbers she admitted taking £200 to buy flowers, top up her phone, pay off a loan and buy a memorial for her husband.

Mrs Cooper said: "The police only recovered £120. Appleton showed no remorse and the police said she seemed to be disappointed at been caught."

Sam Brewster, mitigating, said "At the time of this she was suffering from depression. Her employment has been terminated."

Appleton admitted a charge of stealing £200 but the magistrates determined the sum she actually took was £1,500.

She was handed a suspended 12 week jail sentence and ordered to pay £1,380 compensation to the victim plus £500 costs and an £80 victim surcharge.