Last chance for drug addict thief

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A young woman who stole to fuel her drug habit was told she was getting her ‘last chance’ when she received suspended prison sentences last Thursday at Banbridge Magistrates Court.

She was Shanice Amy Mulready, Railway Street, Banbridge.

On May 5 this year she had been given 100 hours community service and two years on probation for a series of thefts.

At last week’s court the probation service applied to have the orders revoked because Mulready had failed to attend for unpaid work and failed to keep appointments with probation.

She also admitted the theft of food stuffs, jewellery and clothing to the value of £499.49 from Tescos on August 27 this year.

A barrister representing Mulready said she was originally from Drogheda before moving to Banbridge.

He explained that she did not do the community service as her ex-partner, who had served a sentence in Mountjoy prison for assaulting her, was now residing in Newry.

The lawyer added that if the ex-partner saw her in Newry she would fear for her life.

He said the defendant was a young woman who was being used by others to commit shoplifting offences so that she could get her fix.

While she has been in custody, he added, she had been off drugs and she wants to return to Banbridge but knows if she falls into the same cycle with her record the only sentence will be custody.

District Judge, Mr Paul Copeland, said the defendant had multiple convictions for theft and then did not co-operate with probation.

He said her record was ‘absolutely appalling’ fuelled by drugs and her dependency.“I am going to take a chance and impose a suspended sentence as a last resort with compassion for your youth and that you are a young mother,” said Judge Copeland.

Revoking the probation orders he imposed a sentence of nine months, suspended for two years.

But he warned: “If I see you in court for theft or an imprisonable offence I will send you directly to prison.