Judge tells shoplifter he wants to help rid her of “dreadful” drug habit

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A desperate drug-user who stole goods from a supermarket has been told she needs help to rid herself of her addiction.

Natasha Lal, 29, stole wine, steaks and dog food from a Co-op store, at North Wingfield, in Chesterfield, to sell goods on to buy heroin.

Prosecuting solicitor John Cooper told a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing: “She took selected goods and left without paying.

“She said she was on drugs and was ‘rattling’ and she was desperate and stole the goods to get money.”

Lal, of Sales Avenue, New Tupton, Chesterfield, pleaded guilty during a court hearing on Tuesday, March 6, to stealing the goods from the Co-op on February 6.

She also admitted failing to answer bail when she should have been in court on February 28.

Defence solicitor John Wilford said Lal has had a crack-cocaine habit to help her cope with a personal trauma and she has also used heroin.

However, Lal had missed a methadone prescription, which is a heroin substitute, and she had begun “rattling”, according to Mr Wilford, so she stole the steaks for someone else so she could get a small amount of heroin.

Mr Wilford added: “She’s gone to see her GP and wants to get back on a methadone programme and she had been provided sedatives and this was why she missed her court date because she overslept.”

District Judge Andrew Davison said Lal is lightly convicted and her case is a “sad one in a number of ways”.

He told her: “I have to find a suitable punishment for what you have done but I am also interested in addressing the underlying problems.

“You need medication and support to come off this dreadful habit.”

Lal’s case was adjourned until March 14 to allow a probation report to be prepared before she is sentenced.