54-year-old woman who has repeatedly stolen alcohol has been conditionally released

A WOMAN who has stolen alcohol three times in six weeks has been conditionally released by the court.

Newton Aycliffe Magistrates’ Court heard that Karen Eldrett stole two bottles of rum from a Co-Op store in Bowburn on September 3, a bottle of rum two weeks later and a bottle of vodka three weeks later.

The 54-year-old pleaded guilty to theft and asked that the other offenses be considered.

John Garside, prosecuting, said: “This is a simple theft, the accused took two bottles of rum worth £ 28 from the cooperative and was subsequently identified by CCTV.

“She made a full and candid confession in an interview with the police, explaining that she had consumed the products.”

Eldrett last appeared in court on October 24 for a public order offense, again on September 24 for another public order offense and before that on July 30 for another case,

Warren Ridley, mitigating, said Eldrett had problems with alcohol and used it “as a crutch”.

He said: “These offenses all stem from a few traumatic years in her life, and until three or four years ago she had very little on her record.

“The death of her longtime partner, the loss of a child 20 years ago and the more recent passing of her mother have all had an effect on her and she is struggling to cope with it all.

“She turns to alcohol when she’s feeling weak, which is quite common. She drinks too much and then wants more and when she doesn’t have the funds, she steals.

“She understands that she shouldn’t be committing these offenses.”

Eldrett, of Edna Street, Bowburn, was released on parole for 12 months.

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