Crack cocaine pair preyed on same Sutton store to feed habits

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court
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A pair of crack cocaine addicts who stole electrical gear and tools from the same Sutton branch of B&Q in order to feed their habits, but were nabbed when they returned for the fourth time, have been jailed.

Lynda Smith and Adam Wass stole a drill worth £105, on July 3, from the Mansfield Road store, said prosecutor Lee Shepherd.

They returned the next day and took another drill, worth £100, and on the following day, stole electrical items and clothes worth £460.

They were stopped by security staff after stealing an intercom system worth £177, on July 11, from the same store.

And when police officers went to the boot of their car, £153 of cosmetics, stolen from Boots, in the Four Seasons shopping centre, Mansfield, were found.

Smith, 37, of Church Street East, Pinxton, and Wass, 40, of Woodfield Road, Pinxton, both admitted five counts of theft when they appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

Smith had 14 convictions for 29 offences, appearing in court most recently, in February 2016, for three counts of shoplifting and one of handling stolen goods.

Wass has 17 convictions for 29 offences, and also last appeared in court in February 2016. They were both given 24 week prison sentences, and their post-sentence supervision ended in March.

Abbie Edwards, mitigating, said: “Both defendants are here because they are addicted to crack cocaine. They are clearly two people who can engage and not breach any court order.

“They are highly motivated to address their drug use and not to go back into custody. They both told me they did not have a good time in custody.

“A small relapse has led them to go back to offending.”

Probation officer Greta Percival said Smith had been using drugs for 11 years, and was smoking up to £200 of crack cocaine and £35 of heroin at the height of her addiction, but had recently stopped taking crack and reduced her heroin intake to £10 per day.

She said Smith, who had worked as a housekeeper in the past, slowed her drug use when she was employed, and she now had a hobby, looking after hedgehogs.

“They had kept away from each other for a long time,” she said. “But they got together to buy crack cocaine.

“She said she is devastated that she has let herself down again.”

Ms Percival said Wass had used drugs for 15 years and also had a problem with alcohol, but had cut his daily intake from 15 cans of strong lager to three cans a day. He also reduced his heroin use to £10 per day.

She said he had made a “significant turnaround in his life,” and he helped his grandfather with shopping and gardening.

“I don’t think it helps that they live close by to each other,” said Ms Percival, and recommended they were put on a drug rehabilitation programme.

They were jailed for a total of 16 weeks.

They were each ordered to pay £332 compensation to the stores.