Homeless mum of four stole in Mansfield to feed booze and mamba habits

A homeless mum of four who stole from Mansfield stores to feed a mamba and booze habit, has been jailed.

By Court Reporter
Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:33 pm
Updated Thursday, 21st March 2019, 4:33 pm
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Lindsey Howitt stole £93 worth of deoderant from Debenhams on January 3, and returned the next day to take £177 of cans, but she was stopped by staff.

She tried to steal perfume from B&M Bargains, Stockwell Gate, on February 5, but the items were recovered, said prosecutor Robert Carr.

She also stole pop and razor blades from Wilko’s, Sutton, deoderant, a watch and chocolate worth £28, from Home Bargains, and meat worth £47 from the Co-Op, Kirkby, on February 24.

And on March 13, she broke a window and slept in a caravan, on a site off Sutton Road, Mansfield. The owner waited for her to return and when she did he called the police.

She also stole about £3 from a tip jar at Costa Coffe, Mansfield.

When she was arrested she was found with mamba at Mansfield Police Station, on March 19.

Howitt told police she had been abusing alcohol and mamba for the past few weeks and couldn’t remember much, said Mr Carr.

She was last before the courts in March 2018 for shoplifting.

Deborah Bell, mitigating, said the offences were committed with her partner, and the pair broke into two caravans because they didn’t have anywhere to live.

She said Howitt has four children, 15, 14, eight and a five year, who are being looked after by Howitt’s mother and the local authority.

She was introduced to heroin and crack cocaine by a previous partner,” said Ms Bell.

“She was injecting in her feet and told that if she continued to do that she would lose her leg.

“She got herself clean and went to prison in March 2018. She received eight months from Nottingham Crown Court. It gave her the ability to stop using heroin and crack.

“She continued to be on methadone when she was released in July. Everything was going quite well. But she has stopped taking the methadone because she thought she could manage without it.

“She has substituted it with mamba and alcohol. She has taken so much she can’t remember what happened.

“She had seizures brought on by the mamba and was in hospital when she was due to be in court. She blacks out quite regularly. She is very vulnerable.

“If she is seperated from her partner and reunited with her children I think there is a chance for Lindsey Howitt.”

Probation officer Lucy Harrison said Howitt was not engaging.

“She has given us no confidence,” she said. “Yes, she does need help. But she is on post-sentence supervision and she is re-offending.”

Howitt, 33, admitted all the offences, when she appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

She was jailed for a total of 19 weeks, and ordered to pay compensation to Debehams, the Co-Op, Home Bargains, and the owner of the caravan.