A WOMAN lied to police saying her ex-partner’s house had been burgled to cover up the fact she had stolen the cash and valuable items herself.

Amanda Papa, 26, phoned police to report that the Hedge End home had been burgled on July 18.

Property including a camera, laptop computer and a PlayStation 3 had been stolen, along with £271 cash.

Officers launched an investigation on the basis that the burglary was committed by a stranger.

However Southampton Magistrates’ Court heard that officers discovered Papa and the man were splitting up.

Prosecutor Claire Hartman said: “During the course of the investigation they were made aware of the fact that she and her partner were breaking up.

“Subsequently it came to light that she and a third party had entered the address and taken the stuff.

“She wasn’t going to tell police who the other person was.”

Papa later realised the seriousness of what she had done and came clean with the truth, pleading guilty to a single charge of theft at Southampton Magistrates’ Court.

Rob Harding, defending Papa, told magistrates that the offence had taken place against the backdrop of a traumatic break-up. He said Papa, of Newport Road, Gosport, was genuinely sorry for what she had done.

He said: “She doesn’t seek to excuse her behaviour but highlights it as a reason for the offence.

“She realised the gravity of what she had done – this is not someone who has a wanton approach to criminality and this is a completely out-of-character offence.

“It’s easy to see that she is scared to death.”

Papa was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay £1,700 compensation to the victim, as well as £50 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.