A young woman suffocated her 73-year-old grandmother with a pillow in a desperate bid to steal her credit card.

Grace Smith attacked her grandmother, Mary Smith, in July last year and the attack saw the 20-year-old “suffocate her into submission”, a judge at Liverpool Crown Court said.

Grace's attack on her grandmother was the culmination of a series of theft and fraud against a number of family members which went on for years, the court heard.

According to reports, Grace began stealing from her grandmother in Feb. 2019. In the initial months, she used the elderly woman’s credit card details to place more than £500 ($681 approx.) in food orders.

Just over a year later, Grace’s thieving hands were using details of a different card to make just under £3,500 ($4776 approx.) worth of orders on Uber Eats, Amazon, and Netflix.

Grace also stole her mother’s onyx ring and tried to pawn it for a fraction of its value, but the police managed to recover it, prosecutor Christopher Hopkins said.

At the end of 2020, a restraining order was made to stop Grace from contacting both her mother and grandmother. However, she ignored the order and started harassing her grandmother once again last July, reports said.

Court records pointed out three separate dates in July when Grace approached her grandmother and asked her for money. In one such incident, she followed her grandmother to her home in Anfield and pestered her until she gave her cash.

At around 9.30 pm on July 14, she put a note through her grandmother’s door asking for money. Around 20 minutes later, she returned and sneaked into the house through a window, the court heard.

When the elderly woman came out of her bedroom she saw her granddaughter running up the stairs.

Grace then began demanding her card and, when her grandmother refused, she scratched her and pulled her by the hair, according to reports.

"She then took a pillow from her grandmother’s bed and put it over her face," Hopkins said.

Fearing for her life, the elderly woman handed over her card after which Grace rushed downstairs and escaped. She managed to spend £200 before her Grandmother was able to block the card. 

Hopkins said the effect of the incident and ensuing prosecution had been "completely devastating" for the victim.

Grace’s mother, Deborah Smith, said she decided to report her daughter to the police only after her behavior became completely unmanageable for the family.

"I know it is my daughter and this was a difficult decision but I can no longer live my life like this," Deborah said In a statement read in court.

Grace’s defense attorney, Carmel Wilde, said her client has an undiagnosed psychological condition and had spent significant periods in care after being in an abusive relationship in the past.

"These points of mitigation are not an excuse for her behavior but it does go some way to try to explain and put these events in context," she said, adding that her client "is willing to change" and was showing good results in the rehabilitation work in custody.

Reading out the sentence, Judge David Potter said he realized Grace’s time in care and being the victim of domestic violence would have had a profound effect on her mindset.

"I fully accept that your short life has itself been full of trauma," he said.

"You spent a significant period of your life in care. Whilst in care you met and started a relationship with another care leaver who, I am satisfied, subjected you to violence and coercive behavior."

However, the Judge pointed out the nature of crimes she committed, particularly the attack on her grandmother, saying this meant her sentence would be lengthy.

"You effectively suffocated her into submission," Judge Potter said, addressing her use of a pillow.

Grace was sentenced to six years and two months in custody for a range of offenses including robbery, theft, fraud, and numerous breaches of a restraining order.


credit card Representational image. Pixabay.