‘Hungry’ woman is jailed after theft

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A WOMAN who stole because she said she had not eaten for two days has been sent to prison for three months.

Kerry Mills, 32, of Oakes Road, Bury St Edmunds, had stolen a set of hair clippers worth £56 from a salon in the town and then tried to obtain a refund.

On Wednesday, Ipswich Crown Court heard that the theft had put Mills in breach of a suspended sentence order imposed earlier this year for a similar offence.

Prosecutor Michael Crimp told the court that Mills had taken the clippers from Sally’s Salon on September 3 and later returned to ask for a refund.

She pleaded guilty to offences of theft and fraud by false representation and admitted being in breach of the suspended sentence and a conditional discharge imposed by magistrates.

Joanne Eley, defending, said that the weekend before the theft, Mills had been visited by her children and had spent all the money she had on ensuring there was food on the table for them.

Mills had tried without success to borrow money from friends and relatives and said she had gone without food for two days.

Miss Eley said: “She got to a stage where she felt very unwell and she did revert to past behaviour and attempted to deceive an assistant at the hairdressers.”

While Mills’ previous offending had been linked to substance abuse, for the past three years she had not used any illegal substances, said Miss Eley. Mills was now volunteering with an organisation helping disabled children.

Activating the suspended sentence, Judge David Goodin told Mills: “The courts cannot allow flagrant breaches of suspended sentence orders to go unpunished and unmarked.”

Judge Goodin said the imposition of the suspended sentence had been a ‘last chance’ for Mills who had a record of 14 previous court appearances for 19 separate offences.