Norwich grandmother back in court one day after judge urged her to retire from crime

Christine Carriage

Christine Carriage - Credit: Archant

A Norwich grandmother who a judge urged to retire from crime was back in court one day after she admitted a string of shop thefts.

Christine Carriage, whose criminal career dates back to 1965, was this week told by Judge Stephen Holt that she was "getting too old for this".

Judge Holt urged the 71-year-old to retire from her life of crime after she appeared at Norwich Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, when she was given a 24-week prison term, suspended for 18 months, after admitting acquiring or possessing criminal property.

But Carriage, of the Runnel, Bowthorpe, was back in court on Friday, July 12, this time at Norwich Magistrates Court, having previously admitted five thefts from shops between June 11 and October 11 last year.

The case had been adjourned until the outcome of the crown court case.

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Wayne Ablett, prosecuting, said the offences included a theft at Peacocks in Norwich, where two sets of curtains worth £240 were taken, and the theft of Ray-Ban sunglasses worth £163 from John Lewis.

He said the thefts were picked up on CCTV and Carriage was identified by police.

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A number of the items were recovered.

In addition to the theft offences, the defendant had also admitted commission of a further offence whilst subject to a conditional discharge.

Sentencing Carriage to 24 weeks imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, Eamon Lambert, chairman of the bench of magistrates, echoed the comments already made to the defendant.

He said: "I can only reiterate Judge Holt when he said 'you're getting to old for this'."

In addition to the suspended sentence, which will run alongside the same sentence issued in the crown court a day earlier, Carriage was also ordered to pay £597.98 in compensation.

There were no other financial penalties.

Alistair Taunton, mitigating, said as far as these matters were concerned she had admitted the matters, which relate to last year, back in March and had been waiting for sentence.

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