A WOMAN has narrowly avoiding going to prison due to her medical condition after stealing £7-worth of food.
Lisa Bulmer, 37, who has a thyroid disorder stole food when her benefits were stopped as her partner was imprisoned, Sunderland Magistrates’ Court heard.
She faced having a suspended prison sentence activated, but her solicitor Gerry Armstrong argued that the progress in her medical treatment would stop if she went to jail.
Prosecutor Paul Anderson said Bulmer told police she had gone into Pound Stretcher in Pallion Retail Park on January 2, looking for something to eat.
Bulmer, of Garnet Street, Pallion, admitted theft.
Mr Armstrong, defending, said Bulmer’s partner had been in and out of prison, which led to problems with the pair’s benefits claim.
“She had no money for some weeks and has gone into Pound Stretcher and taken some foodstuffs for her to eat,” he said.
“She has a thyroid condition which caused her to put on a lot of weight. That caused her to become depressed.
“She is concerned if she goes to prison, that the medication that is starting to stabilise her will be stopped. She has already lost two stone. She can only get that treatment in hospital.”
District Judge Roger Elsey deferred sentence for six months to allow her treatment to continue, on the condition that she does not re-offend.
“If you comply with these conditions you will be fined for this offence,” he said. “If you don’t, the suspended sentence will be brought into action.”