Grandmother found with ‘warehouse’ of stolen goods fighting to keep ‘sentimental’ items

Christine Carriage

Christine Carriage - Credit: Archant

A grandmother found with a 'warehouse' of stolen goods is fighting to keep items she says are 'sentimental' as prosecutors attempt to reclaim proceeds of her crimes.

Christine Carriage, heavily convicted since 1965, including the now defunct charge of larceny, has been told by a judge she is "getting too old" for crime.

In 2015 she was given a six-month suspended sentence after police uncovered 1,337 stolen items of clothing, shoes and handbags in her home at The Runnel, Three Score.

On July 11 she was back in court having admitted five thefts from shops between June and October last year.

She was given 24 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.

Carriage, now 72, was due to appear at Norwich Crown Court on Friday for a hearing to determine how much money she should pay for her ill-gotten gains.

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But the court heard she had undergone a seven hour operation for cancer removal at Addenbrooke's Hospital the day before.

Williams Carter, prosecuting, said the Crown claims Carriage should pay £1,760 by giving up items seized from her.

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"The case involved a number of stolen items with the benefit figure alleged as £8,120," he told the court. "There are about £1,300 worth of agreed items but Mrs Carriage claims the remaining items identified are legitimately hers.

"She is 72 and can't be here today. Whatever sympathy may be for her due to her age dissipates by a number of previous convictions going back to 1965.

"She must be one of the last defendants appearing before this court with convictions for larceny."

He said the prosecution were not prepared to accept some of the property "belonged to her husband and has sentimental value".

"The public expense of further proceedings is likely to outweigh considerably the value we are asking to obtain, but I do not see any alternative but to adjourn," he said.

Andrew Oliver, for Carriage, said: "We are arguing about £400 of second hand drills and PlayStations. I do not know when she is going to be fit to take part in a contested hearing."

Judge Stephen Holt adjourned the case until December 6.

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