Thief's drug use 'spiralled' after fatal car crash in Lightwood
PROLIFIC thief Terri Ann Harrington's drug use 'spiralled out of control' after she was involved in a car crash in which two men lost their lives.
The 26-year-old was sentenced to 15 months in prison yesterday for a string of offences.
And in her defence, her lawyer said she had committed more offences after turning to drugs following the fatal collision.
Harrington was arrested following the crash in Lightwood Road, Lightwood, on November 18 which killed 26-year-old Martin Wilson, of Blurton, and 20-year-old James Morgan, of Lightwood.
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She was questioned on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving, drink-driving and leaving the scene of a crash.
Yesterday, at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, Harrington was dealt with for handling stolen goods, three charges of theft, possession of cannabis, criminal damage, having a bladed article and three charges of failing to surrender to bail.
Among the offences the defendant, of Brackenfield Avenue, Bentilee, pleaded guilty to were:
theft of £108 worth of children's clothing from Matalan on November 30;
theft of £56 worth of toys from Wilkinson's Hanley, and possession of cannabis on December 3;
theft of a tracksuit from Sports Direct, criminal damage to tracksuit bottoms and possession of a lock knife on December 4;
failing to attend a drugs assessment on December 13;
failing to attend court on December 14, 19 and 21.
Those offences came after Harrngton went into Cash Converters, Longton, on June 27, two days after electrical goods and jewellery were stolen in a house burglary.
Prosecutor Heather Chamberlin said: "A woman went in trying to sell two silver bracelets and a watch and staff were suspicious.
"She gave the name Terri Ann. Police viewed CCTV and identified her."
Harrington was arrested a few days later and more property taken from the burglary was found in her home.
Nicola Bell, mitigating, said Harrington, a mother-of-one, has a long history of drug abuse.
"Her drug use spiralled out of control in November following the accident," said Ms Bell. She added the defendant is from a good family and her mother cares for her child.
Jailing Harrington, Judge Paul Glenn said: "You are a persistent offender, you offend while subject to court orders and have previous convictions for failing to answer bail.
"You have had chance after chance. You knew full well the property you handled was stolen. You saw it as a chance to make easy money.
"You were subject to supervision but your response to stress is to offend and take drugs. You are a long-term heroin abuser. You are a quite prolific thief."
Harrington will serve up to half the sentence with the rest on licence.