A WOMAN who committed a cash robbery in Bournemouth “on the spur of the moment” has been spared a prison sentence.

Emily Elizabeth McCarthy stole £100 from a man in Queen’s Road in September last year.

She pleaded guilty on a basis to the single charge at Bournemouth Crown Court but a judge deferred sentencing her in January.

The case was back before the same court on May 24 and Judge Brian Forster QC told McCarthy that she had done “incredibly well” in her rehabilitation over the past few months.

Such was her progress, Judge Forster QC issued a two-year community order rather than a suspended prison sentence.

The judge said robbery was “a serious offence and the public ordinarily expect someone to be sent to prison”.

However, he added: “When I deferred sentence it was clear to me you had significant potential if you could improve your situation.”

The 23-year-old defendant, of Bournemouth, spent more than three months remanded in custody between her initial appearance at Poole Magistrates’ Court in October 2020 and when the deferred sentence was issued in January.

Since then she has received support from The Nelson Trust, a charity organisation which helps people with addictions. She has also stayed out of trouble.

A member of the team at the trust, who appeared alongside the defendant via video link, told the court that she had been “absolutely fantastic while she has been here” and that she “cannot praise her enough”.

The court heard that McCarthy committed the robbery “on the spur of the moment”, with Judge Forster QC adding “the precise circumstances will never be known”.

Judge Forster QC told McCarthy: “You have seized the opportunity that was given to you and you have been lucky to have had such dedicated people supporting you at this time.

“You should be proud of your own achievements.”

The judge said it was in the public interest that support was given to the defendant and she was rehabilitated.

The community order included a requirement to complete up to 40 rehabilitation activity requirement days as directed by the probation service.