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Mum jailed for string of offences
10:57am Friday 1st February 2013 in News
A MOTHER-of-two who stole a mobile phone from a probation officer and repeatedly shoplifted to fund her drug habit has been jailed.
Darlington Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday (January 31) that 30-year-old Katie Carruthers of Tom Raine Court had 22 previous convictions and was serving three community orders and a conditional discharge when she stole the phone on January 28.
She pleaded guilty to the theft and also admitted stealing two bottles of vodka from the Co-op on North Road on November 12, failing to answer bail on January 2 and possessing a Class A drug on January 25.
Prosecutor John Garside told the court that Carruthers stole the £200 HTC phone from a handbag left by a member of staff inside the Darlington probation office building.
She stole the vodka whilst she was in the Co-op with a friend who also ran off without paying for his goods, and she was found carrying a wrap of heroin when she was searched by police who had visited her on another matter.
The court heard that as part of her community sentences, Carruthers had to regularly attend probation meetings, but Brenda Robertson of the probation service said she had only attended around 50 per cent of her appointments.
“Drugs lies behind it all,” said Mrs Robertson.
Mitigating, Sam Brewster said that Carruthers thought she was “doing her best” to attend appointments and take part in a drug rehabilitation programme.
He said that her mother told her that she could only see her two children if she weaned herself off methadone, but she had bought the single wrap of heroin as a “one-off” to see her through a bad day.
He described the phone theft as a “spur of the moment” offence.
“Obviously she is someone with a very long-standing drug problem,” said Mr Brewster.
“She certainly has not covered herself in glory over the last few months but I would ask for you to give her one more chance.”
Jailing her for 18-weeks, District Judge Adrian Lower told Carruthers: “You have been given every opportunity in recent times to address what lies behind your offending.”
She was then handcuffed and led away from the court by two police officers.