Young Worksop woman fell into prostitution and theft to feed drug habit

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A young Worksop woman who resorted to prostitution and shoplifting to feed a drug habit has been jailed.

Toni Ann Price, 23, of Watson Road, admitted stealing clothing worth £102 from Matalan on June 22, and detergent worth £50 from Asda on June 12, as well as bubble bath and detergent on May 7 and May 5 from other shops in the town.

Mansfield Magistrates’ Court heard the thefts put her in breach of a suspended sentence, imposed in December last year, for three other shoplifting offences and she had since failed to tell the probation service that she had changed address.

Daniel Pietryka, prosecuting, said Price had told police that she was stealing to buy food and fund a drugs habit.

David Verity, mitigating, said: “This is a real desperate situation. Up until October of last year she had no convictions.

“I have concerns for Miss Price in a custodial situation. She has been talking about suicidal thoughts.”

He said she had moved out of Worksop, ‘where there are a lot of drug problems’, to Lincoln in an attempt to address her drug addiction, but lost her methadone prescription.

“She was living in various addresses and was in a vulnerable situation,” said Mr Verity.

“She stopped shoplifting and turned to prostitution for a while. She then went back to stealing property to obtain money for drugs.

“It’s a real shame. She is still a young person. Now she is in jeopardy of a suspended sentence being activated.”

He said that a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement (DRR) would benefit her and asked District Judge Andrew Meachin to consider imposing a short custodial sentence that would motivate her to engage with the probation service.

“She would then know what happens if she doesn’t comply with a DRR,” he said.

District Judge Meachin told Price: “It’s never a pleasing task to send anyone to prison, but on this occasion I have no alternative.

“You were put on a suspended sentence for a spree of offending and lost contact with probation. You have now gone on a similar spree.”

He sentenced her to 18 weeks for the shop thefts and reactivated the 16-week suspended sentence, making a total of 34 weeks’ imprisonment.

She was also ordered to pay a £150 victim surcharge.