Drug-addict thief facing “death on the street” is given a chance by court

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A desperate drug-user who faces “death on the streets” has been given a chance after she committed a series of shop thefts to feed her life-threatening addiction.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, October 3, how Sarah Amy Smith, 32, of Godfrey Drive, Kirk Hallam, struck at a Co-op store, at Leabrooks twice, at a Co-op at Somercotes three times, and once at a B&M store at Somercotes stealing candles and £253.65 worth of meat.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “There are six matters of theft before the court. Thefts from shops in the Somercotes and Leabrooks area.

“The circumstances speak for themselves. These are thefts of meat and candles on various dates and in the main she was identified with CCTV.

“She was seen on nearly all the occasions in a store with a male.”

Mrs Allsop added that during a theft on May 1 from B&M a member of staff spotted two males and a female and Yankee Candles were being placed into a packed rucksack.

She said that there were thefts on May 5 and 11 and during an offence om May 17 the stolen meat was recovered after she had been spotted by a member of the public.

Following a further offence on May 26 stolen property was also recovered.

Smith admitted being the person in the CCTV footage and that she was stealing and that drug addiction was behind the offending.

She explained the stolen goods were taken with plans to sell them to buy drugs.

Smith pleaded guilty to six thefts. These included a theft at B&M on May 1 of Yankee Candles, a theft at the Co-op at Leabrooks of meat worth £45 on May 3, stealing meat worth £60 from a Co-op at Somercotes on May 5, a theft from the Co-op at Somercotes of meat worth £50 on May 11, stealing meat worth £70 from a Co-op at Somercotes on May 17, and a theft of meat valued at £28.65 from a Co-op at Leabrooks on May 26.

She also admitted breaching a conditional discharge previously imposed for stealing candles, jeans, boots and razors from the Factory Shop in Ripley.

Defence solicitor John Last said the defendant is a long-time drug-user who has lost the right to care for her children.

However, he added that Smith has now been given secure accommodation with support and she has shown a real determination to free herself from a long-standing drug addiction.

Mr Last added: “For society to wash its hands of this defendant would mean we are confining her to a life of drug abuse and no doubt to a death on the streets.”

Magistrates sentenced Smith to six weeks of custody suspended for 18 months with a Drug Rehabilitation Programme and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

She was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge, £85 costs and £125 compensation.