Lotto claim gran in court accused of stealing Xbox controller
A grandmother who hit the headlines after lodging a failed claim for a £33 million Lotto prize stole an Xbox controller belonging to a man she met through a dating app, a court has heard.
Susanne Hinte, from Worcester, also swiped a purse from the home of an elderly Good Samaritan who helped to find her other alleged victim's home, magistrates in Birmingham were told.
Hinte, whose ticket for a record-breaking Lotto draw in January was said to have been damaged in a washing machine, denies committing two counts of theft on January 3 and 4 last year after driving to Birmingham.
Opening the case against Hinte, who is aged 48, prosecutor Muhammad Awan alleged that she stole a purse containing debit and credit cards, as well as £55 in cash from the home of a 73-year-old woman.
Mr Awan told magistrates that Hinte called at the door of pensioner Susan Kirby's bungalow in a Birmingham suburb on the evening of January 3.
The prosecutor said of Hinte: "She explained that she was lost and that she was trying to get to a male friend's address.
"The defendant then explained to Mrs Kirby that her mobile phone battery had died."
The court heard that the homeowner's phone charger failed to fit Hinte's mobile, and she placed her Sim card into the pensioner's handset to make contact with "blind date" Glen Gregory.
Explaining what is alleged to have happened inside Mrs Kirby's house, Mr Awan added: "By this stage the complainant has invited the defendant into her property.
"Whilst in the kitchen the woman then speaks to Mr Gregory - the second complainant - in order to get his full address."
After Mrs Kirby had obtained an address for Mr Gregory, written it down and handed it to Hinte, she is alleged to have hugged and kissed the pensioner in apparent gratitude.
Hinte then left the woman's home, Mr Awan added, and the victim noticed that her purse was missing from a kitchen work surface and rang the police.
Outlining the details of the second alleged theft, the prosecutor told three magistrates trying the case: "It is said that Mr Gregory and the defendant had met through a dating app.
"It is understood that their first face-to-face meeting was to be that night, the 3rd of January.
"Some time later that evening, possibly around midnight or 11.30pm, the defendant arrives at Mr Gregory's address.
"It's said that whilst she is there she starts to ask questions about an Xbox which is in Mr Gregory's address.
"She asks if she can buy it from him. He told her she couldn't, she then stays the night and leaves the following morning."
Mr Gregory, whose age was not given to the court, told magistrates he gave £10 to Hinte to cover petrol money as she left his home in Chelmsley Wood, and only noticed the wireless Xbox controller was missing after being contacted by police who had spoken to Mrs Kirby.
Hinte, of Borrowdale Road, Warndon, was first interviewed by police in early February last year when she accepted being at both addresses but denied stealing anything from either property.
Both alleged victims gave evidence before Hinte's trial was adjourned until April 13.
In her evidence, Mrs Kirby was adamant that she saw Hinte "dart" towards her purse.
The pensioner told the court: "I was attempting to do someone a good turn. I can't really explain the way I feel.
"I blamed myself for letting her in but then that's what you do if someone needs help."
In his evidence, Mr Gregory said he had first communicated with Hinte - who called herself Sabine - on a website about a month before they met in person.
He told the court that he was not certain that she had taken his Xbox controller and was now "50/50 on it" - having made his original statement to police while "walking round Asda".
Hinte, said by her solicitor to be suffering from a major heart problem, left the court accompanied by her agent, Barry Tomes.