Prison term is the only option for thief

A PROLIFIC thief has been jailed after a probation officer said custody was the only option for her.

Tammy Wilmot, 22, was locked up for eight months after admitting stealing £106.06 of chocolate from the Lidl store, in Jesmond Gardens, Hartlepool, on March 14.

Prosecutor Graham Jacobs said Wilmot, and another person who is yet to appear in court, entered the store and took the chocolate without paying.

Wilmot was already subject to a supervision order imposed on December 21 and conditional discharges put in place on February 13 and February 29.

Doug I’Anson, of the probation service, said Wilmot had already breached her community order and she was also subject to a second community order imposed on April 6, 2011.

He said she had kept 12 of the 17 appointments offered to her since December 21. Three absences were acceptable, the other two were not.

Mr I’Anson added: “Tammy Wilmot has been offered all kinds of community help, such as drug rehabilitation requirements and other support.  “She has failed every one of them. Is there anything we can offer the court today?

“The simple answer is no, there is nothing we can offer for Tammy Wilmot.”

Neil Bennett, mitigating, said: “I’m very disappointed that the probation service feels it is at the end in relation to Tammy Wilmot.

“We can’t accept the only thing the court has at its disposal this morning is custody.”

Urging justices to give her a chance in the community, Mr Bennett said the theft was a low-level offence and that Wilmot had reduced her methadone intake from 95ml to 34ml.

But magistrates’ bench chairman Doreen Goode sentenced Wilmot to two months each for the theft, breach of the conditional discharges and breach of the community order, to run consecutively.

“We have done this because you have been a prolific shoplifter,” she told Wilmot, now of Leven Road, Middlesbrough.