Cut down on drink warning to shop thief

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A WOMAN who robbed a shop was then spotted heading towards it armed with a metal bar, a court heard.

Rachel Tovey had set about trashing the store in Parliament Street, Burnley, and frightened the staff so much she was given cigarettes and tobacco.

She then left and was arrested as she walked back towards the shop with the bar, Burnley Crown Court was told.

Tovey, who has served the equivalent of a nine-month term behind bars on remand, won her freedom, but left the dock with a judge’s warning ringing in her ears – “Stop drinking so much and losing your temper. “

The defendant (40), of Maurice Street, Nelson, had admitted theft, robbery and possessing an offensive weapon. She was given 12 months in prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision.

Mr Richard Bennett (prosecuting) said on February 15th, at about 6-40pm, Tovey went into the shop and asked for some beer. She didn’t have any money, the owner told her she wouldn’t be served unless she went home for some and Tovey took offence and stole a cake.

At about 7pm, the defendant returned to the store, became abusive and started to throw bottles of drink around. She pushed over a display stand, knocking biscuits and crisps to the floor, stood on them and was still hurling things around. The proprietor, who was worried for the safety of herself and staff, handed over some cigarettes and tobacco.

Mr Bennett said police arrived and arrested the defendant as she walked along Parliament Street. She refused to be interviewed. Tovey, who caused almost £100 damage, had a record for assault and damage and in February of last year was convicted of wounding after stabbing her partner.

Mr Philip Holden, for Tovey, said she had been away from home since the offences and had found it very difficult. He added: “She wants to go and live back with her partner.”

Sentencing, Judge Beverley Lunt, who said she had read all the reports and the assessments about Tovey, told her: “You have got to keep out of trouble, which means cutting down on the drinking, no losing your temper, no trying to get stuff for free out of shops. This is the end of the road here.”