Woman given ‘benefit of doubt’ steals again

Craigavon Court House. INLM0311-117gc
Craigavon Court House. INLM0311-117gc

A woman who stole even though she was the subject of a suspended sentence for a similar offence was jailed for six months last Wednesday at Craigavon Magistrates Court.

Elaine Pamela Campbell (49), whose address was given as Trasna Way, Lurgan, admitted the theft of a Breville blender valued at £29.50 from Tescos in Lurgan on June 25 this year.

At an earlier court she had also admitted stealing a paint pot and plants, valued at £47.48, from Homebase at Rushmere.

The court heard that on June 25 Campbell was seen taking a security tag off a box and putting the blender under the carriage of a pram before leaving the store without paying.

On September 16 last year she lifted a pot plant from outside Homebase. A tin of paint which was also taken was never recovered.

The case had been adjourned from a previous court for a pre-sentence report.

A defence barrister said that the court was dealing with an individual with kleptomania who had had probation and suspended sentences in the past.

The lawyer explained Campbell had long standing mental health issues and was now simply avoiding going shopping.

District Judge, Mrs Bernie Kelly, said it was quite clear from the pre-sentence report and the defendant’s record the offences were to fund another lifestyle. There were a number of drugs offences on her record. The barrister said that this was no longer a problem.

The judge said Campbell had been given the benefit of the doubt in Newry court in on January 20 with a suspended sentence but in June she stole a blender.

“A suspended sentence must mean what it says,” added Judge Kelly.

For each of the two offences she sentenced the defendant to two months in prison and invoked two months of the suspended sentence.

She made all three sentences consecutive, making a total of six months in prison.