Already drunk woman stole more booze, court told

Tesco Metro, Market Street, Halifax.
Tesco Metro, Market Street, Halifax.

A woman dependent on drugs and alcohol was put behind bars for stealing booze from two supermarkets while drunk, just 24 hours apart.

Calderdale Magistrates’ Court was told that Rachel Matthews of Clay Street, Pellon, Halifax, tested positive for both cocaine and opiates after being arrested for each offence,

The court was told how she had picked up Special Brew worth £7.40 at a Tesco store on Market Street, Halifax on May 9 - a day after she had been arrested and bailed for attempting to steal three bottles of Jack Daniels whiskey from the Thrum 
Hall Lane Asda.

Matthews, 39, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted theft.

Alex Bozman, prosecuting, said of the latest offence: “The offence took place at Tesco in Market Street at about 6.30 in the evening. On that occasion Miss Matthews entered the store, spilt a bottle on the floor which brought her to the staff’s attention.”

He added that once the staff were aware of what was going on they checked CCTV footage which proved she had taken the Special Brew.

The court was told that the defendant - who receives £105 per fortnight in job seeker’s allowance - has extensive previous convictions, none of which were particularly recent - the last being carried out in August of last year.

Of the first attempted theft, the court was told how the defendant had entered the store and covered the whiskey’s labels and tags at around 6.45pm on May 8 before putting them into a bag of her own, until she was seen by store staff and stopped.

Mr Bozman said: “She had no money so decided to get some bottles she could sell.”

Representing Matthews, Rachael Mounsey said: “There has been full admission at the police station and it was the defendant who brought to light that there was an additional offence.”

The court was told that Matthews had been subject to domestic violence which led her to her current living situation.

Miss Mounsey said: “She has been out of trouble for what, in her circumstances, is a long time. She has been making great progress. It’s quite clear there has been a relapse in her progress.

“She accepts she entered the supermarket heavily in drink.

“Either way it’s accepted that she is a drug user and she has an alcohol problem.”

Matthews was sentenced to six weeks for the first attempted theft and eight weeks for the second, due to her being on bail when it was committed.

Magistrates said the sentences would run consecutively meaning she was jailed for 14 weeks in total.