Burglar spared jail term because she is a woman

A mother who admitted burgling the house of a petrified elderly man was spared prison by a judge who told her that she would have gone to jail if she had been a man.

Terry Remmer, 23, broke into the house in Washington, Tyne and Wear, in August last year via a patio door, and stole a camera and other items.

Newcastle crown court was told that the man “awoke at 5am to hear someone creeping around the house. He heard items being moved and he was frightened.”

The man was too afraid to intervene so he contacted his daughter. By the time she arrived with her boyfriend, Remmer had fled. She was spotted six hours later selling one of the stolen items in an electronics store in Sunderland.

Sentencing Remmer to 18 months in prison, suspended for 18 months, Recorder Mark Lowe, QC, said: “The gravity is that if you were a man you would be going to prison today. But I have to take into account not only your welfare but the welfare of your child.”

Guidance issued in 2013 by the Judicial Studies Board, the body responsible for training judges, instructed them to bear in mind the “disproportionate impact” that prison sentences have on men and women with parenting or caring responsibilities.

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