Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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Carlisle house burglar offered victim a chocolate

A drug addict who burgled the house next door offered her neighbour a box of chocolates when he returned home and caught her

Amanda Jane Norris, 30, got into neighbour Paul McQuaid’s house in Cant Crescent, Upperby, Carlisle, on December 27 after he left his door unlocked.

When he got home he found her standing in his kitchen, with the Ferrero Rocher box – which had been given to him as a Christmas present by someone else. She claimed she had gone into the house to give him the chocolates for Christmas.

But Mr McQuaid recognised the box – and realised that the “excessive amount of fake tan on her hands and arms” had come from a bottle of fake tan which had been upstairs.

He later discovered she had taken not just the chocolates and the two bottles of fake tan, but a charm bracelet, pair of jeans, a silver ring, some mascara, two watches, and some hair straighteners.

Norris – a mother-of-two who has since left Cant Crescent to live with her mother – pleaded guilty to burglary. She also admitted stealing £110 of goods on a shoplifting spree in Carlisle city centre.

Her barrister Kim Whittlestone said Norris had been using drugs from an early age and had been a heroin addict for nearly 10 years.

“It’s fair to say that heroin has dominated her life for the last decade,” she said.

She said Norris could remember nothing of the burglary because of the mental state she was in while trying to give up drugs.

“She was effectively walking around in a daze at that time,” she said. “It has brought home to her that she needs to reach out and seek assistance for various aspects of her life.”

Norris was given a 10-month prison sentence, suspended for two years. The judge, Recorder Raymond Herman, said he believed she did not properly accept responsibility for what she had done.

“You hide behind the fact that you can’t remember what you did, and that there were stresses in your life which contributed to you behaving as you did,” he told her.

He said he was not convinced either by her newly discovered determination to give up drugs. “Is it simply reaction to realising you were in serious trouble or a genuine attempt to address your problems?” he asked her.


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