A GRANDMA snatched a pensioner’s purse as she took her first shopping trip on her own before smuggling drugs into prison for her boyfriend.

Michelle Eccleston has been jailed over her crime spree, which including taking thousands of pounds worth of cannabis into HMP Risley.

The 38-year-old was caught red-handed during a visit to see her partner and inmate Frankie Parr at the Warrington Road jail in August last year.

Liverpool Crown Court heard on Monday, May 18, that she was seen handing the Risley prison inmate – a knifeman serving a 21-month sentence after making threats to a doorman at a pub in St Helens – a package when visiting time was over.

Warrington Guardian:

Guards seized this parcel and found it contained 47g of cannabis and 72g of tobacco.

While these drugs had a potential street value of around £450, they would be worth up to £4,500 inside a prison.

Eccleston claimed that she had smuggled the items into the category C facility as two men had threatened to burn her mum’s pub down if she did not.

Then, in March this year, the mother to three adult children followed an 84-year-old woman home from a shopping trip in St Helens.

She pounced as the elderly victim put her bags down and pinched her purse, which contained between £80 and £100, from her hand.

This was the first time the pensioner had been shopping since suffering a stroke and had been making good progress in her recovery.

But the incident has caused a ‘huge’ setback to her health.

The Liverpool Echo reported that the victim’s daughter told the court: "My mother has always been community minded and would help anyone, now she is scared of everyone.

“Since the incident I have taken her shopping and she was clinging to me every step of the way.

"It is heart-breaking, her step back in stroke recovery is directly linked to the attack.”

Eccleston, who has 36 previous convictions for 82 offences, admitted theft and conveying a prohibited article into a prison.

The heroin and crack cocaine addict was previously jailed for a year in 2017 after being caught smuggling amphetamines and cannabis into HMP Hindley in Wigan.

Sentencing her to two years and three months behind bars, judge Denis Watson said: “It was the first time she had been out to the shops, a real milestone.

“Of course you did not know she had had a stroke, you did not know this was her first trip out.

“What you did know was that she was a vulnerable elderly lady, and as she made it to her front door and stopped, putting her bags down, you went up to her and in the course of several attempts you eventually managed to wrestle the purse from her grasp and run off.

“This was a wicked offence, targeting such a vulnerable individual on the doorstep of her home as she was returning from a shopping trip and was the more tired for it.”