Desperate Wigan thief went on spree for drug money after forgetting to pick up methadone

A Wigan woman embarked on a desperate theft spree at a Boots store in order to buy illegal drugs, a court heard.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 12:34 pm
Wigan and Leigh Magistrates Court

Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court was told Joanne Woodcock, from Orrell, stole five candles and hundreds of pounds of make-up from the chemist store.

The court heard the 46-year-old, of Heysham Road, turned to crime to buy illegal substances on the street after she forgot to pick up a methadone script which had successfully kept her away from offending for several years.

Prosecuting, Tess Kenyon said staff at Boots noticed Woodcock crouching down near a candle display on August 1.

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When challenged she headed for the exit and managed to escape, but CCTV footage showed her clearly stealing five candles.

She was then ejected from the Smyth’s toystore at Robin Park on September 2 and the manager recovered her bag and found it was full of Boots cosmetics.

Video footage again confirmed her wrongdoing, with the camera picking her out de-tagging items and placing them in a bag.

Woodcock was arrested after returning to Boots on September 12 and again being removed from the store.

She was taken into custody where she tested positive for cocaine and heroin.

And she freely admitted to police she had been taking illegal substances and had been stealing to fund it.

Defending, Martin Jones said she had been unable to get her methadone script reinstated after missing an appointment to pick it up and had then acted out of desperation.

He said: “She was on a script which kept her on an even keel and ensured she wasn’t committing offences to fund a drug habit.

“However, she made a huge error in failing to attend on a Friday for her script and had nothing for the three days. On the Monday she was told her script had been cancelled.

“She ended up being reliant on street drugs. In her own words she blatantly committed these offences because she was desperate. It appears she didn’t really care if she was arrested or not.

“She has a fairly simple life. She keeps herself very much to herself, has contact with her mother and sister and her dog.

“She also assists with a child who has a variety of problems.

“For the forseeable future she wants to remain in this bubble to get her life back on track.”

The bench gave Woodcock a 12-month community order involving 20 rehabilitation activity requirements and ordered her to pay £324 in costs, a victim surcharge, a £30 fine and compensation for the candles which were not recovered.