Woman ‘shoplifted to fund drinking’

York Crown Court
York Crown Court

A WOMAN said to look twice her 30 years because of her alcohol abuse escaped a prison sentence despite admitting her 53rd criminal offence since 1997.

Mother-of-two Kirsty Burnett was said at York Crown Court to have two activities of choice, shoplifting and drinking – the one funding the other.

Burnett, of Hinderwell Road, appeared before the court for sentencing on a charge of theft, having previously admitted it.

Jayne Bryan, prosecuting, told the court how Burnett and her then boyfriend had entered the Sainsbury’s store in Edgehill Road in the town, despite being barred because of a previous shoplifting offence.

They began filling a trolley with £183.72 worth of alcohol and crisps, despite being told they were barred, but things then went further with the male threatening staff with a bottle and demanding cigarettes.

The court heard that the boyfriend had previously admitted robbery and had been jailed, but that it was accepted that Burnett had not known what he was going to do and had taken no part in it.

Miss Byrne said that the threatened staff unlocked the store doors, which they had closed in an attempt to keep the pair inside the store, and allowed them to leave.

Police arrived and searched the area, finding Burnett hiding behind a hedge in a garden, still with the stolen alcohol in the trolley.

Taryn Turner, mitigating, said that her client’s on-off relationship with her boyfriend was “toxic” and that at present, because of his incarceration, she was now realising that she needed to address her drinking.

She added that Burnett also knew that she had to put herself and her two young children first.

Passing sentence, Recorder Amanda Rippon said that Burnett was only 30, but that “frankly you could be taken for double that, you must know that”. Adding that Burnett needed to tackle her problems in order to keep the children she was in danger of losing, the Recorder said that she was suspending for 12 months the nine-month prison sentence she was imposing.

Burnett was also placed under 12 months’ supervision and ordered to undertake a six-month alcohol treatment requirement.