Couple who stole from shops to buy drugs appear in court
- Credit: Chris Bishop
A couple who carried out a string of shop thefts to help fund their heroin habit have been sentenced.
Dean Gray has started a 12-week jail sentence and Natalie Wilson was given a two-year community order.
Lynn Magistrates’ Court heard on Thursday that Gray, 26, had previously been convicted of thefts from Superdrug (December 6, £50), Home Bargains (December 22, £14.46 and £27.93) and Tesco (January 8, £34.10 and £49.50).
At the latest hearing he pleaded guilty to stealing fragrances from Superdrug on November 23 (£144 and £79.50) and admitted failing to report for supervision on December 1 following custody.
Wilson had previously pleaded guilty to thefts from Home Bargains (December 21, £12,87; December 22, £14.46 and £27.93) and admitted breaching a conditional discharge order.
On Thursday she also pleaded guilty to obstructing a police officer and using threatening behaviour on November 25.
Prosecutor Denise Holland told the bench that those charges related to police trying to arrest Gray at Wilson’s pod for homeless people in St Edmundsbury Road, North Lynn.
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“Officers have gone to the address. She has not let them in. Mr Gray was trying to leave through a window. She was shouting abuse,” added Mrs Holland.
The prosecutor said 24-year-old Wilson had 42 offences on her record – a lot of them with Gray, who had 104 offences.
Solicitor Alison Muir, mitigating, said the couple had been together for six-and-a-half years and both were class A drug users.
“If you’re in a relationship, it goes one of two ways – you help each other out of [the addiction] or you drag each other into it,” she said.
Miss Muir said Gray had been seeking help through drug and alcohol support provider Change Grow Live and working with the 180 Degrees scheme to prevent reoffending. She said he had never worked or had any training but has hopes of becoming a bricklayer and getting a home for his family.
Wilson had managed to finish a health and beauty college course and aims to get a job.
Her community order, which she welcomed for the necessary help, includes an 18-month Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and up to 30 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement days. She was also fined £50 and ordered to pay £95 victim surcharge.
As well as the three months’ custody, Gray, who lives in a homeless pod in Hardings Way, South Lynn, was also sentenced to 14 days (to run concurrently) for breaching the post-custodial supervision order.