Drug addict stole cosmetics to give to children as presents

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Bury Magistrates' Court crest
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A drug addict who stole perfume and cosmetics to give as presents to her children has received a suspended prison sentence.

Tracy Baxter, 40, of Tayfen Road, Bury St Edmunds, appeared at West Suffolk Magistrates’ Court on Monday charged with theft.

Prosecuting, Ian Devine said Baxter had visited Debenhams in Bury St Edmunds on Monday August 10.

He said: “She was seen to select various make-up and cosmetic items then leave without paying for them.

“A loss prevention officer had followed her on CCTV.

“She was stopped outside the store and all the items were recovered.”

The perfume and cosmetics were valued at £220.

Mr Devine said when interviewed Baxter said she had taken the items to give to her children, who she had not seen for a number of years.

“She said she was feeling guilty she had not bought them any birthday presents over the years,” said Mr Devine. “With limited money on her she couldn’t pay for presents, so she stole them.”

The court heard how Baxter had 94 previous convictions and had received a community order with a drug rehabilitation requirement in June.

In mitigation, David Stewart said Baxter was a drug user who was slowly turning her life around. Describing the recent offence as ‘a lapse’, Mr Stewart said she was making progress on her drug rehabilitation.

Baxter was sentenced to eight weeks in prison suspended for 12 months and made to pay a criminal courts charge of £180 and a victim surcharge of £80.

The drug rehabilitation order will also continue.

Presiding magistrate Jim Spencer said: “It has wrecked your life and you are trying to make a change.
“We want to see you kick this habit and get your life back on track.”