Magistrates warn drug-addict thief to turn her life around or go to prison

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A drug-plagued thief has narrowly been spared from being sent to jail after she was found with heroin and crack-cocaine and was caught shoplifting to feed her addiction.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on May 1 how Kelly Marie Rigney, 37, formerly of Fairfield Road, Horsley Woodhouse, was found with heroin and crack-cocaine after a strip-search in March in Heanor and she was caught shoplifting at Sainsbury’s in Ripley in April.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “Police stopped a vehicle and she was a passenger and she was taken to the police station for a strip-search and during that search a pill box was recovered containing heroin and crack-cocaine.”

Nearly a month later, Rigney went on to steal £188.81 worth of goods from Sainsbury’s after she was seen putting items in a trolley at the store in Ripley and the property was recovered, according to Mrs Allsop.

The defendant admitted the theft and told police she has a £25-a-day heroin habit and she intended to sell the stolen items to feed her addiction.

She pleaded guilty to possessing heroin and crack cocaine and pleaded guilty to the theft.

Rigney, of no fixed abode, also admitted failing to attend with the probation service and subsequently breaching a community order which had been previously imposed for other theft and drug matters.

Defence solicitor Kirsty Sargent said Rigney had been living a law-abiding life even though there had been drug problems in the past but her life has spiralled out of control.

Ms Sargent explained Rigney’s mother passed away, she has a poorly child, her relationship broke down and her father is ill with cancer.

She added: “She realises her relationship and her life has spiralled out of control and it is a mess and she needs help and support.”

Magistrates sentenced Rigney to 24 weeks of custody suspended for 12 months with a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

She was also ordered to pay £170 costs and a £115 victim surcharge.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench Martin Thacker warned Rigney: “You should take this opportunity to turn your life around otherwise you will be going to prison.”