Serial thief with 100 shameful offences is given a last chance

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A serial thief who now has a shameful 100 convictions to her name has been given a last chance following her latest theft after a court heard how she has been battling drugs and abuse.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Friday, July 15, how Angela Clark, 33, of Manor Park Centre, Sheffield, was caught stealing a Phillips breast pump from Boots, on Low Pavement, Chesterfield, but magistrates took pity on the defendant.

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam said: “Security staff saw this defendant and her new partner going into Boots and Clark was seen leaving and carrying a box under her left arm which was believed to be a breast pump.

“The staff followed and as the two got to a car the registration number was taken and the car was stopped and Clark was found to be in possession of the breast pump.”

Clark told police she had not intended to steal the pump but when she had seen it she took it for a family member who needed one.

The man she was with at the time of the offence, according to the court, did not know she had stolen the pump and he was not arrested.

Clark pleaded guilty to the theft which was committed on July 1

Ms Haslam added that prior to the breast pump theft, Clark had already accumulated 99 convictions for dishonesty and is still subject to a suspended sentence for shop thefts as well as a community order for shop theft.

Defence solicitor Andrew Dalrymple said Clark was introduced to class A drugs by her brother when she was 18-years-old and became addicted.

Despite later getting control of her life, according to Mr Dalrymple, she developed a relationship in 2011 with a man who was in the thrall of drugs and she was pulled back into that world which explained her offending.

Mr Dalrymple claimed Clark suffered mental and physical abuse during this period and by 2015 the courts felt she was failing to engage with probation and she was given a custodial sentence.

However, Mr Dalrymple explained that after the courts were offered an insight into how Clark’s offending had been influenced by drugs and a previous relationship she was subsequently given a community order and a suspended sentence.

Mr Dalrymple added that Clark is now getting the right kind of support to get off drugs and to give her the confidence not to give-in to temptation and or bullying.

Magistrates agreed to give Clark another chance for the breast pump theft and sentenced her to four weeks custody suspended for nine months to run concurrently with her existing suspended sentence.

She was also ordered to pay a £115 victim surcharge.

Magistrates did warn her however that she will go to prison if she commits another offence.