A BAG-SNATCHER who was chased down the road by a passer-by said 'voices in his head' had made him do it.
Drug user Raymond Leslie Pickstock, 20, said voices had told him to steal Gabrielle Unsworth's bag while she was shopping in Smithy Lane, Little Sutton.
But he was spotted by motorist Deborah Williams, who drove after him demanding he returned the bag and the £100 in it.
Pickstock, a convicted robber from Maple Avenue, Little Sutton, was arrested when his father called the police.
He admitted a charge of theft from a person when he appeared before Chester magistrates.
Pickstock was committed to Chester Crown Court for sentence on November 5, and was remanded in custody.
Prosecutor Lynda Oldham said Mrs Unsworth, 58, had £130 in her handbag when she went out on September 10.
As she was walking down Smithy Lane she heard someone running up behind her.
Pickstock snatched her bag and ran off.
'She was extremely distressed and was physically shaking. She had also lost her house keys in the theft,' said Mrs Oldham.
Miss Williams, who had parked nearby, saw what had happened and saw Pickstock run by her.
'She got back in her car and drove after him,' said Mrs Oldham.
'Then she shouted at Pickstock to give up the bag.
'He dropped the bag and carried on running. She asked for the money back too.
'Pickstock threw £20 on the floor and she retrieved it. She continued and he dropped more money on the floor.
'He hid behind a tree then ran off. Miss Williams lost sight of him,' said Mrs Oldham.
Pickstock told police he was a drug user and he had heard little voices telling him to do this.
'He knew he had done wrong and was disgusted with himself. There is still £50 outstanding,' added Mrs Oldham.
Defending, Brian Treadwell said the theft had been a one-off. 'The police have now returned the woman's bag and keys,' he added.