Thief is spared from prison as she is given a chance to beat drug addiction

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A drug-user who committed a theft has narrowly been spared from a prison sentence so she can be given a chance to beat her addiction.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, March 13, how Liann Norman, 39, of Broom Drive, Grassmoor, near Chesterfield, stole alcohol and other items from a Co-op store, on Williamthorpe Road, North Wingfield.

Prosecuting solicitor Christine Ofosu-Ampadu said: “The defendant entered the store with a couple of bags and picked up a basket at the front of the store and went around selecting alcohol, lotion and toothpaste and placed items in the basket and attempted to walk out without paying.”

Ms Ofosu-Ampadu added that Norman also has 25 theft matters to her name.

Norman pleaded guilty to the theft which happened on January 18.

She also admitted failing to comply with the requirements of her post sentence supervision by failing to attend with a probation officer after she had been released from prison concerning another matter.

Defence solicitor David Gittins said Norman disputes the value of the goods stolen and said she would not have stolen toothpaste but would have stolen alcohol.

He added that initially she could not remember committing the offence but accepted she had committed a theft after she was shown CCTV footage.

Mr Gittins added that Norman has had a long-term class A drug addiction after her former family life had spiralled out of control and she began resorting more to alcohol and drugs.

He urged magistrates to step back from imposing a custodial sentence because he feared this would pull Norman back into a cycle of drug-taking.

The probation service stated that Norman realises she needs help and support and that she is suitable to be placed under a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement.

Magistrates said Mr Gittins had spoken “powerfully” on behalf of Norman and they agreed there was a “glimmer of hope” that she may be able to change her life.

They sentenced Norman to four weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement.

She was also fined £50 for breaching her post sentence supervision and was ordered to pay £76.46 compensation and a £115 victim surcharge.