A single mum from Bulwell, branded a prolific shoplifter and regular drug-user, has been sent to prison for six months.
Kristie Sharp (34), of Hornbeam Gardens, Snape Wood, was “in a desperate hole” because of “her chaotic personal life”, Nottingham Magistrates’ Court was told.
She admitted nine charges of shoplifting in Bulwell town centre between April and December last year.
And because they breached suspended prison-sentences or deferred sentences, issued previously, the court felt that jail was the only option - especially as she had refused to accept “one last chance” by co-operating with the probation service.
District Judge Morris Cooper told Sharp: “I had sincerely hoped that prison could be avoidable. It is particularly sad because of the effect on your two children. But this is how bad it has got.
“I hope that you now reflect on your behaviour, some of which has been driven by your drug addictions and your compulsion towards stealing.”
As she was led away, Sharp cried “I love you!” to her teenage son and daughter, who had burst into tears at the back of the court.
The court was told that when interviewed by police, Sharp said she had “a habit of stealing that she could not give up.”
She had been offending since 2011, she had tested positive for heroin and cocaine and she had missed appointments with probation officers.
Graham Heathcote (defending) said issues in her life were “overpowering” and that she had referred herself to her GP “because she was at her wit’s end”.
“She has a catalogue of drug abuse, and all manner of stresses and strains,” said Mr Heathcote.
“She is desperate to do the best she can for her children, and she wants to turn her life around. But her health is suffering.”
Mr Heathcote said one of her main problems was her ex-partner (and father of one of the children), who was ‘well known to the courts’.”
“He seems to be providing her with some of the drugs and exerting control over her,” he said.
“There is a suspicion that some of the offending is for his benefit, and that he has practised violence on her.”
As well as the prison sentence, Sharp was subjected to a two-year ASBO, which bans her from the Matalan, Fulton Foods and Heron Foods shops in Bulwell, plus all Co-op and B&M Bargains stores throughout Nottinghamshire.