A WORKINGTON woman blamed her decision to return to drug abuse and stealing from shops on the stress of living with repeated domestic abuse.

Lindsay Thompson’s barrister offered the explanation after the defendant was put before at judge at Carlisle Crown Court for her latest offending, consisting of four shop thefts and four breaches of a criminal behaviour order.

Thompson, 39, of Firth View Walk, Workington, admitted all eight offences.

Prosecutor Brendan Burke said Thompson had completed a significant part of a community order for earlier offending when, on April 5, she began stealing from west Cumbrian shops she is banned from entering.

Over a few weeks, she stole from various shops.

Thompson stole cosmetics worth £89 from Superdrug on April 5, goods worth £61 from B&M in Maryport on April 16, cosmetics worth £180 from Boots on April 22, and goods worth £11.98 from B&M in Workington on April 25.

Marion Weir, defending, said Thompson had been in an abusive relationship for a number of years. She was mistreated in this way as recently as on the morning of the hearing. Thompson now regarded the man responsible as her “ex-partner.”

“She is adamant that this has to end," said Miss Weir.

"March 13 was the anniversary of her mother’s passing; and on that date she was a victim of abuse and turned to old ways of drug use and acquisitive crime.

“Hence the offending before the court.”

Miss Weir said Thompson had not taken anything for four days and had now decided to back away from the problematic relationship. “She can be rehabilitated,” added Miss Weir.

The abusive partner had now been made the subject of a domestic violence protection order, the court heard.

Recorder Julian Shaw noted that the eight offences meant Thompson is in breach of her existing community order.

He told the defendant: “Miss Weir tells me that you are a serial victim of domestic violence… you are embroiled in an abusive relationship, from which you are struggling to extricate yourself.”

The defendant’s criminal record was consistent with a person addicted to illegal drugs and possibly with alcohol issues.

The Recorder continued: “You are down, Miss Thompson, and I am not going to kick you just because you are down. You need help; you need help to extricate yourself from the misery of an abusive relationship.

“But at 39 you need to start taking responsibility.”

The Recorder suggested that Thompson, who wept as she was sentenced, could end up dead – either because of her addictions or at the hands of an abusive partner. But he accepted Miss Weir’s suggestion of a suspended sentence.

He imposed 28 days jail, suspended for 18 months, with 25 rehabilitation activity days and a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement. He added: “Stay off the drugs and stop stealing other people’s property.

“And stay away from abusive partners.”