Shoplifter was helping drug-addicted sister

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A shoplifter who was trying to help her drug- addicted sister pay off a debt, was mown down by someone threatening her.

Convicted robber Susan Howarth (48), had stole children’s clothing worth £107 from Burnley Asda and worth £58.50 from Tesco in the town, to “keep this person happy”.

But, Burnley magistrates were told, she ended up suffering a broken foot when she was run over. Howarth, whose own drug problem was said to be “well-controlled,” and her sister had now been to police and the person said to be responsible had been arrested remanded in custody.

Howarth, of Dall Street, Burnley, admitted two counts of theft, on September 20th and October 2nd. She was given a six-month conditional discharge and must pay £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Mr John Rusius, defending, said Howarth had stayed out of trouble since coming out of jail in June 2016. Her drugs problem was well-controlled and she was on a prescription.

Her sister had got into debt, couldn’t pay and had received threats. She had been told to commit shoplifting offences and hand over the proceeds or her family would suffer serious violence and her house would be burned down.

Mr Rusius said Howarth tried to assist by committing the offences to prevent violence against her sister, but was run over by the person making threats.

The solicitor added: “She did what she had to do. In hindsight, she should have contacted the police sooner.”