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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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‘Blip’ excuse of Carlisle thief dismissed by magistrates

A thief with 230 crimes to her name has been jailed after she stole spirits from a Carlisle store when she was four months pregnant.

Thirty-five-year-old Theresa Helen Cook, of Greengarth, Upperby, was already on a suspended sentence for a previous theft when the latest three took place, city magistrates heard.

The court heard how Cook was in the Spar store, on Lamb Street, on June 29 when she took washing powder worth £21.54.

She struck again in Matalan on July 15 when she stole jeans and T-shirts by hiding them under her clothing.

The third time it was Morrisons, on July 30, where she stole four bottles of spirits – worth £78.97 – by hiding them under plastic bags in the trolley.

Cook, who appeared in court via video link, admitted the three latest shop thefts.

Defence solicitor John Smith said she felt the thefts were ‘just a blip’.

“She hasn’t offended for a few months,” he said. “She is working with the probation service and engaging well with them.”

Magistrates disagreed and felt the offences were ‘more than just a blip’. They warned Cook she was in danger of slipping back into her old habits.

They activated her suspended sentence and she was told to serve 65 days in prison.

Cook was jailed for a further 28 days for the Spar theft, 25 for the Matalan one and 42 for taking alcohol from Morrisons.

She was also given an extra 14 days for being behind with court fines, taking the total to 174.

Back in October last year, the same court heard how she had committed 222 previous offences and had notched up 77 previous convictions.

At the time, she was given a one year community order after taking eight bottles of perfume from TK Maxx.

She appeared in court this year for committing further offences at the Spar in May, taking three bottles of spirits and three bottles of champagne from a Co-op store in April, £132 of clothing from Matalan in April and perfume and cosmetics from Superdrug and Semi-Chem in January.

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