Teenage thief got more than she bargained for when she broke into home of Uddingston pensioner

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A teenager broke into the home of an Uddingston pensioner, but fled empty-handed after the plucky 84-year-old fought back.

Morgan Cochrane and her victim, Elisabeth McAdam, had both ended up on the living room floor as the intruder tried to stop the OAP calling for help.

Cochrane (18) appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court and admitted breaking into the Main Street property with intent to steal on July 16 last year.

She also admitted assaulting the pensioner by struggling with her and causing her to fall to the floor.

Cochrane’s solicitor admitted there was “no excuse” for her behaviour.

Lisa Lann, prosecuting, said the pensioner had opened her back door to Cochrane and an unidentified male about 10pm.

Ms Lann told the court: “She recognised them as both had attended at her address a few weeks before to see if she needed any work done about the house.

“She had told them she didn’t need their help.

“On this occasion the accused asked if she could use the toilet. She was allowed to do so and the woman stood beside the male to keep an eye on him while Cochrane was in the toilet.

“The pensioner then advised that she was too tired to talk and was going to bed. She locked the rear door but was still in the living room at midnight, having fallen asleep.

“The accused then came through her living room door, her face covered with black material. The woman shouted at her to get out and grabbed her phone to call the police.

“Cochrane tried to take the phone from her and they struggled back and forward before both fell on the floor. The witness managed to phone the police and tell them the accused had broken into her house and attacked her.

“Cochrane ran from the house and when officers arrived they found the complainer shaken but with no visible injuries. She declined medical attention.

“A search was carried out for further intruders and a black vest top and a pillow case were found in the hallway. The accused’s DNA was on these items.”

Officers discovered that a kitchen window had been forced to gain entry to the house.

The victim remembered Cochrane’s male companion saying he stayed in ‘a row of houses looking on to the river’.

Officers went to a house there and overheard a female saying she had ‘got in a back window, but the old lady was still awake. I ended up fighting with her’.

Cochrane was arrested and made an initial court appearance from custody before getting bail.

Defence agent Anthony Boland said Cochrane had at the time a ‘chaotic’ lifestyle, fuelled by drink. Shortly before this incident her boyfriend had attacked her with an axe.

The solicitor added: “She appreciates fully that her actions here are unacceptable. She is appalled. There is no excuse for this type of behaviour.”

Mr Boland said Cochrane, who has no previous convictions, is now pregnant and living in Newcastle.

Sheriff Vincent Smith told Cochrane he was willing to impose a 12-month supervison order as an alternative to custody.

She must attend alcohol and drugs counselling if required and will be confined to her home between 6pm and 6am each day for three months under an electronic tagging order.