Jailed for crime wave to fund drug addiction

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates' Court
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A drug addict responsible for a one-woman crime wave of thefts from Leigh stores to fund her habit has been sent to jail.

Andrea Dawber, of no fixed abode, asked to be put behind bars in order to get help tackling her addiction when she appeared at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court.

Dawber, 37, pleaded guilty to no fewer than six charges of theft for incidents ranging from last November to the end of January.

She also admitted failing to comply with the terms of a suspended sentence previously issued by the courts which would send her to prison if she did not keep out of trouble.

Dawber told the magistrates frankly that she did not think she could cope with the problems caused by her drug habit while she was out on the streets.

She asked to be locked up in prison as she hoped she would be able to better address her drug use while she was in there.

The magistrates were told the first of Dawber’s theft offences took place when she went into Asda in Leigh and stole a pair of boots worth £45 on November 16 last year.

She then went into a Next store in the town on December 12 and took two dressing gowns worth a total of £82.

The court heard that just five days later on December 17 she went into an Asda store in Leigh and took a bottle of perfume and another pair of boots worth a total of £70.

The crime wave then continued into the New Year with Dawber stealing from two shops in the space of a day.

The court heard on January 15 she went to B&M Bargains and took toys worth £50 from the shelves.

She also went into Next on that day and took a coat worth £75. She then entered an Asda store in Leigh on January 28 and stole alcohol worth £37.50.

The court heard the thefts were similar in nature, with Dawber entering the shops, helping herself to the items and then quickly leaving. None of the goods have been recovered.

The magistrates activated the 24 weeks in prison remaining on her suspended sentence and then gave her a further 12 weeks behind bars for all the theft offences.