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Darlington heroin addict spared prison after stealing chicken
10:42am Friday 8th March 2013 in News
A HEROIN addict with a former £200-a-day habit who stole to fund her addiction has been spared prison so she can begin a new life.
Dawn Mitchinson, 47, of no fixed address, stole £12 worth of chicken from Asda in Blackett Road, Darlington, on Valentine’s Day with her partner in crime, 37-year-old Nicola Ludgate, of West Moor Road, Darlington.
Prosecutor Blair Martin said the pair had stolen the chicken from the supermarket, which they later sold for about £6 and split the proceeds between them.
Darlington magistrates heard they were also charged with a further theft offence after they were caught stealing nearly £70 worth of beauty products and coffee from Asda in Whinbush Way the next day.
The pair admitted theft when they appeared at court last week and Mitchinson returned for sentencing yesterday (Thursday, March 7).
Mo Sibert, of the probation service, told the court Mitchinson was given a four-year prison sentence in July 2010 and was released halfway through it. She is under supervision until April 2014.
Ms Sibert said they were not recalling her to prison as the probation service and their partner agencies had secured Mitchinson a property in Coundon, County Durham.
“She will hopefully start a fresh life,” she said. “You have got a woman who has spent over half of her life on this planet on heroin. She has a 27-year-old heroin addiction.
“She is currently using £10 worth of heroin a day - that is a far cry from earlier in the day when she was using £200 a day.”
Chairman of the bench, Glynn Wales, said: “Today we could be sending you into custody, but she (Ms Sibert) has spoken so sincerely on your part we are going to give you one final last chance to change.”
She was given a six-month community order and was also ordered to pay a £60 victim surcharge and £6 compensation.