Judge warns thief she faces 36 weeks’ custody if she fails to stay out of trouble

A judge has given a prolific thief a chance after he heard how she has been the victim of domestic abuse and had allegedly been forced to commit offences.

Stephanie Coggan, 30, admitted stealing £324.98 worth of cosmetics and Bluetooth speakers from Boots, at Low Pavement, in Chesterfield, and also admitted stealing a £255 RAB coat from Go Outdoors, at Spire Walk Business Park, in Chesterfield.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

Chesterfield magistrates' court.

But Chesterfield magistrates’ heard on August 30 that Coggan told police after her arrest that she has been in an abusive relationship and she had been told to steal the items by a former partner.

District Judge Andrew Davison said: “She has an enormous record with thefts and burglaries but many thefts.

“I am well aware of the pressures women can be under in a dreadful cycle of a relationship by being pushed into a direction of stealing to feed the habit of a partner.”

Prosecuting solicitor Sarah Haslam told the court Coggan had stolen many items from Boots on August 18 and had placed them in a bag but she was detained outside the store.

Four days later, on August 22, Coggan was seen on CCTV footage at Go Outdoors, according to Mrs Haslam, putting a coat in a bag and leaving without paying.

Mrs Haslam said: “She was interviewed seven days later. She accepted committing the offences and said she was in an abusive relationship and had been told to steal the items by her ex.”

Coggan, of Southend Road, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to stealing two Clinique Fragrances, two cans of St Tropez hair mousse and two Blutooth speakers from Boots and also pleaded guilty to stealing a RAB coat from Go Outdoors.

Defence solicitor Joanna Robinson said Coggan, who has breached a suspended sentence order by committing the thefts, has been a victim of domestic violence and she has suffered from exploitation.

She added: “A probation officer has noted bruising around her neck and there is evidence that she is a victim and there have been previous reports of her being abused by other people in the past.”

Mrs Robinson said Coggan has a new address and she has got her benefits in place and she has started to get her life back on track and she is also receiving help for a heroin problem.

District Judge Davison calculated Coggan is facing 36 weeks of custody but he deferred sentencing until October 10 to give the defendant a chance to prove she can stay out of trouble.

However, she was warned she must comply with licence requirements, attend a women’s project, save £10 per fortnight towards compensation and she must not commit further offences or she will be jailed for the thefts.