Shropshire Star

Prolific Telford thief with 114 previous offences is sent to rehab after latest shoplifting spree

A prolific thief who has accumulated more than 114 charges against her has been sent to drug rehabilitation following her latest shoplifting spree.

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Telford Justice Centre

Naomi Wilson of Dawley had appeared before the courts on no less than 37 occasions before her latest appearance at Shrewsbury Crown Court, sitting at Telford Magistrates Court, on Monday.

The court heard that the 37-year-old's latest shoplifting spree was conducted with her partner at the time, Scott Lamb, 34, and the pair had targeted five shops to feed their drug habits.

Lamb, of Windsor Court, Arleston, had already been sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years for his part in the shop thefts at the same court last Friday.

On Monday, prosecutor Mr John Oates told the court that Wilson was found in the same car with Lamb, after the pair had "plundered" a Co-op in St Georges on August 7 this year.

He said: "Police became aware of a particular vehicle, and on August 7 the vehicle was found and stopped and the defendant was found inside with Lamb.

"She was identified as one of the parties that went over a counter in the Co-op to a staff-only area. She had effectively plundered the shop rather than just taking items. It must have been a very frightening experience for the staff in the shop, although no violence was threatened to them," he conceded.

He said on that occasion the pair made off with £1,213 of spirits, some of which were found in the pair's car when they were arrested.

He added that the duo were also charged with four other shop thefts, after they stole fragrances, razors and make-up from a Boots in Telford on August 1; targeted two more Co-op stores around Telford, making off with around £600 of items in July, and also stole from a One Stop store in August.

Mr Oates said that Wilson, who admitted her latest shoplifting spree, had been before the court on 37 occasions for 114 previous offences including shop thefts, offences against the person, and drugs offences.

Mr Rob Edwards, defending Wilson, told the court that the defendant, who was on remand in prison in Bristol, had a "long list of offending" that related to a "long-standing drug issue".

He added: "She has received the whole armoury that the court could deploy."

But he said that the defendant had "desperately wanted to embark" upon the Willowdene drug rehabilitation and training programme to get her off drugs.

In sparing her jail, Judge Peter Barrie told Wilson: "You have a bad record, of a life of persistent drug use supported by a large number of acquisitive offences, namely of stealing from shops."

He said her latest shoplifting spree with Lamb was part of a "joint lifestyle" to feed her drug habit but that "remand has allowed you to be clear of drugs and you have convinced staff at the probation service of a genuine determination to take part in this programme".

"I will give you that opportunity, a precious opportunity," he said. "It is up to you to make the most of it."

He told Wilson she would take part in a 12-week residential programme at the Willowdene drug programme and placed her on a 24-month community order.