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Friday, 24 October 2014

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Judge grants Carlisle woman's plea to jail her

A woman who stole a trolley full of food and clothes from a Carlisle supermarket with a friend pleaded with a judge to send her to prison.

Tracy Abbott, 33, made the plea after admitting her part in stealing goods worth £205 from the Warwick Road branch of Tesco.

At Carlisle Magistrates’ Court, defence solicitor Malcolm Dodds told District Judge Gerald Chalk that Abbott, of Welsh Road, Harraby, felt that a spell in jail was the only way to overcome her long standing problem with drugs.

Her co-defendant John Bell, 24, of Central Avenue, Harraby, also admitted theft.

The pair crammed a trolley with clothes and food and then transferred the goods into Tesco carrier bags that they brought with them. They then tried to leave without paying.

Mitigating, Mr Dodds said: “Tracy wants to go to prison, and feels it’s the only way forward for her.”

The solicitor said that Abbott had used drugs for more than 18 years – since she was 17, and regarded prison as a salvation because it would give her a chance to be clear of drugs.

Mr Dodds asked that the inevitable jail sentence should be as short as possible.

He said that at the time of the theft Abbott could not get any methadone – a heroin substitute – and wanted to sell the goods to raise cash.

“She realises that she can’t go on like this,” added Mr Dodds. John Smith, for Bell, said his client was in a similar situation but he didn’t want to be sent to jail. Bell had been “polite and cooperative” when confronted by security staff, said Mr Smith.

Judge Chalk granted Abbott’s wish. He jailed both defendants – who he said have both regularly committed offences – for 42 days.

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