Thief downs 28 pints a day

A SHOP thief who downs up to 28 pints of booze a day almost died because of her addiction.

Dawn Marsden, 31, has a long-standing problem with alcohol that sees her drink a month’s worth of the NHS guideline amount for women in just one day.

Medics recommend that she should only consume up to three units of alcohol a day – the equivalent of a pint of strong lager – but Marsden is drinking up to a staggering 84 units in 24 hours.

And the effect of her sessions are taking their toll. Two weeks ago she is said to have been close to death as her body could not cope during one heavy session.

She was so drunk during a hearing in Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court that she had to ask a Mail reporter what her sentence was only moments after town justices gave her a six-month conditional discharge and ordered her to pay compensation of £28.02 and £45 in costs.

She had admitted stealing 10 packs of bacon from the Co-op store in Stockton Road, Hartlepool, on July 31 to sell on to fund her habit.

Marsden’s solicitor, John Relton, told magistrates: “You may have noticed my client has a drink problem. It’s something she is seeking advice upon and getting help.

“She tells me on occasion she will drink up to 16 litres a day. She has a long-standing appetite for alcohol.

“Someone under the influence of alcohol has clouded judgment, and that’s why she expresses regret for her actions.”

He said that Marsden has a two-year-old daughter who is in foster care because of her alcohol problem.

Mr Relton added: “Clearly the prospects of the child being returned to her are intrinsically entwined with this illness.

“She overdosed two weeks ago and almost died.

“That shows that this is a problem that needs addressing.”

Marsden, of Uppingham Street, Hartlepool, called the sentence “shan” as she left the court.

Helen Kesterton, prosecuting, said: “This was a straightforward shop theft.

“She was identified on CCTV and admitted the theft and said she had sold the goods for £1 each and used that to buy alcohol.

“She has previous convictions for theft, and the last was in June 2009.”