Woman ‘forced’ to steal hundreds of pounds in make up from Sunderland Tesco to clear drugs debt

Tesco at Monkwearmouth.
Tesco at Monkwearmouth.
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A woman was caught stealing over £400 worth of cosmetics after her heroin dealer enforced a drugs debt, a court heard.

Kelly Hackett claims she was driven around in a car and threatened by the dealer, who told her to steal make-up.

Sunderland magistrates heard how Hackett, 35, was seen by security in Tesco Monkwearmouth at 2.30pm on May 17.

Prosecutor Lee Poppett said she was seen to place a large quantity of make-up in a bag she had with her, before leaving the store without making payment.

“She was detained by security with £404 worth of make-up about her person,” Mr Poppett said.

Hackett was detained and arrested by police. When searched, she was found to have a quantity of brown powder, later confirmed to be heroin.

“She told officers her intention was to steal the make-up to pass on to an unknown drug dealer she owed money to,” Mr Poppett added.

Hackett, of Edwin Street, Pallion, admitted theft and possession of heroin.

Probation officer Alan Cutting said she had taken drugs since she was 14.

“She has committed this offence because of money owed to a drug dealer,” he said. “He threatened her, she got into his car and was taken to the shop. She is addicted to heroin. It has caused her severe health problems. It’s screaming out that she needs help.”

Susan Grey, defending, said: “She’s been a drug addict for years. Her health has been destroyed by it.”

Hackett was sentenced to a 12 month community order and nine months’ drug rehabilitation. She was also given a one-month night-time curfew and was told to pay £240.