Woman who shoplifted again despite being on a ten months suspended jail sentence now says she has changed her ways and is ‘too old to be in courts’

ColeraineCourt9 - Edited

A recovering heroin addict who shoplifted again despite sitting on a ten months suspended sentence for a string of thefts which had included stealing from the Salvation Army, wants to stay crime free as she is “quite simply too old to be in courts”.

The claim regarding Louise Pewtner (46), whose address was given as Henry Street, Ballymena, was made at the local Magistrates Court on Thursday by defence barrister Neil Moore.

The defendant admitted stealing clothing and food worth £164 from Sainsbury’s three days before Christmas last year and taking a pair of trainers and children’s jeans worth £25 from Primark in February this year when she also was found with £2 worth of cannabis resin in her handbag.

Mr Moore said Pewtner, a recovering heroin addict, has undergone a “complete transformation”.

He said she had voluntarily entered a detox facility and is now living in supported accommodation getting a daily script for her addiction and has been engaging with addiction services.

The defence lawyer said his client had indicated she is “quite simply too old to be in courts”.

District Judge Nigel Broderick said there was “every reason” he should send Pewtner to jail but said he was deferring sentencing for six months as she had sought help for her addiction.

He warned her to keep engaging with addiction services and not to re-offend.

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