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Homeless woman stole fragrances to fund drug habit, court hears

PUBLISHED: 16:33 29 November 2019 | UPDATED: 16:33 29 November 2019

Boots in Tavern Street, Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

Boots in Tavern Street, Ipswich Picture: GOOGLE MAPS

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A homeless woman who stole nearly £700 worth of men’s and women’s fragrances from Boots in Ipswich over a week has avoided prison.

Rebecca Parsons, 33, of no fixed address in Ipswich, appeared at Suffolk Magistrates' Court on Friday and pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft from a shop.

Magistrates heard how Parsons went into Boots on Tavern Street on November 19 at 9.05am and stole two Moschino Toy 2 perfumes, valued at £132, before returning to the store around 4.30pm on the same day to take a Azzarro Wanted fragrance worth £80.

On November 20, Parsons was once again viewed on CCTV entering Boots and this time stole one box of Kenzo World, valued at £65.50.

Further offences took place on November 23, when a Paco Rabanne fragrance worth £68 was stolen, and the following day when three Burberry Weekend fragrances, with a total value of £180, was taken.

Three boxed fragrances, worth £167, were also stolen on November 25.

Following her arrest, a further theft from the Co-op, in Ulster Avenue, Ipswich, on October 24 came to light when wine worth £31.34 was stolen, magistrates heard.

She tested positive for cocaine and opiates following a drugs test at the police station.

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Andrew Cleal, defending, said Parsons stole the items to fund a drug habit.

He said: "These matters occurred as a result of her increased dependency on drugs.

"She has been using drugs for some years.

"She is currently homeless and is living in a various night shelters.

"These thefts were committed to fund a drug habit and get food as she is on £80 a week Universal Credit."

Parsons also admitted a breach of a 12-month community order, which was imposed on October 7 following previous theft offences.

Magistrates said they were willing to give Parsons another chance and handed her an 18-month community order,

The order contains 30 Rehabilitation Activity (RA) days as well as a six-month drug rehabilitation requirement.

Parsons was also ordered to pay a total of £235 to Boots in compensation.

Magistrates did not award costs or a victim surcharge.

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