Former Sunderland addict stole to clear drug debt

Katy Jackson, 31, of Thornholme Road, Sunderland.
Katy Jackson, 31, of Thornholme Road, Sunderland.

A former addict turned to theft to clear a drug debt after she was beaten up and a family office was trashed.

Katy Jackson, 31, headed to Debenhams, in The Bridges, equipped with a foil-lined bag, but was recognised by staff due to her history of shoplifting, Sunderland magistrates heard.

Debenhams in Sunderland

Debenhams in Sunderland

The mum-of-one, who was already subject to a suspended prison sentence after a £2,000 theft from Fenwick in Newcastle, took perfume and a shirt to the value of £297.

Prosecutor Lesley Burgess said the offence took place at 9am on December 1, when staff saw her on the CCTV.

Miss Burgess said: “She is known to security officers due to previous thefts that have taken place in the store.

“She takes five bottles of perfume and a short from the store.

The drug dealer caught up with her a few days ago and she has bruised ribs as a result

Anna Haq, defending

“She places them into a foil-lined shopping bag she is carrying.

“She then exits the store and passes all the payment points and has not offered payment for the goods.”

She was arrested and taken to Southwick Police Station.

The stolen items were returned to the store.

Jackson, of Thornholme Road, Sunderland, admitted theft.

Anna Haq, defending, said: “Miss Jackson is on a suspended sentence order.

“Having seen the previous convictions, there is a long history with Miss Jackson, which involves drugs.

“She advised me that is down to a relationship when she was 16 years old. She started using drugs, this was with an older man, and she has struggled with that addiction for a number of years.

“She’s actually no longer using drugs.

“The reason for this offence was historic drug debts.

“They have caught up with her. She’s had threats to hurt her.

“Someone has broken into her mother’s office and trashed it.

“She believes that is a threat towards herself, and out of desperation she has committed this offence.

“The drug dealer caught up with her a few days ago and she has bruised ribs as a result.”

Probation officer Paul Grace, who carried out an assessment on Jackson, said she works part-time in the family business, Jacksons of Holmeside.

Magistrates imposed a prison sentence of 16 weeks, suspended for a year, and warned her that if the sentence is activated, it will run consecutive to her previous sentence.

She was also given a 16-week curfew, between 9.30pm and 7am, and was told to pay £85 costs and £115 surcharge.