Shoplifting mum spared prison

A Hucknall mum returned to her drug-abuse lifestyle after her baby was stillborn, Nottingham Magistrates’ Court were told.

And to pay for her drug habit, she committed a spate of shoplifting offences, it was said.

Kelly Louise Dennis (24), of Shelton Avenue, pleaded guilty to stealing food and grocery items, worth £269.03, from the Asda superstore on Front Street, Arnold, on Saturday 20th April.

The court were told that Dennis, who had “a lengthy criminal record”, filled her shopping trolley with the items and walked out of the store at 2.50 pm without any intention of paying. She had her five-year-old daughter with her at the time.

Bill Soughton (defending) said Dennis “was a young lady with a long history of drug abuse”.

“She was in a bit of a state because she had lost her baby only months earlier, and her boyfriend blamed her” said Mr Soughton.

“However, it was later disclosed that her boyfriend was also using drugs and was controlling her and abusing her.

“She and her daughter have now moved in with her mother, cut all ties with her partner and made a fresh start.”

The court heard that Dennis had already been dealt with by magistrates for other shoplifting offences. As a result, she had been given an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order).

However, the offence in Arnold put her in breach of a suspended prison-sentence that had been imposed on Tuesday 9th April.

District Judge Leo Pyle decided not to activate the suspended sentence after hearing that Dennis had complied with the terms of the ASBO.

She had also not committed any offences since April and was now “largely drug-free”, the court was told.

“Given the progress you have made, it would be unjust to activate the suspended sentence,” said Mr Pyle. “Instead the breach will be marked by a fine of £50.”

Dennis was also given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay costs of £25.