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Barnstaple woman stole from toy shop in order to raise drug money

By NDJSophie  |  Posted: March 01, 2014

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A BARNSTAPLE woman stole from a toy shop in order to try and raise money to buy drugs, a court has heard.

Mandy Hooper, of Brewer Road, Barnstaple, pleaded guilty to theft when she appeared before North Devon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

The court heard how Hooper had entered Youings Toy Shop on Boutport Street on December 17.

She was spotted on CCTV selecting a children’s toy camera worth £49.99, and leaving the shop without paying.

Hooper was later interviewed by police, where she admitted to stealing the camera.

Hooper told police she later sold the item on for £25 in order to raise money to buy drugs.

Tony Dart, for the defence, told the court his client, who had been a heroin addict for 17 years, had recently appeared in court on similar charges, and was handed a community order with drug rehabilitation requirements.

He said this charge pre-dated that order, so she was not in breach. He added that Hooper had been complying with the order and was keen to turn her life around.

He added at the time of the offence, Hooper had been having personal issues which led her to go “off the rails” but she was “in a better place” now.

Hooper was ordered to pay £49.99 in compensation to Youings, and told she must continue to comply with her community order and the probation service.

Presiding magistrate Judith Kauntze said: “We have been very good to you, but you must keep up the good work.

“We hope you do not come back to see us again.”

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