Northampton woman handed suspended sentence after stealing phone and radio from charity that helped her

The offender has a long record of thefts, drunk and disorderly and possession of heroine

By Max Pearson
Monday, 20th December 2021, 2:53 pm

A Northampton woman has been handed a suspended sentence after stealing a brand new phone and radio, taken from a charity that helped her with substance abuse for years.

Lesley Jane Gregory, of Woodstock, Billing Road, Northampton, was convicted of stealing the two items from Change Grow Live (CGL) in Northampton.

The 52-year-old had been a client of the substance abuse charity for more than four years before she committed the thefts.

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Gregory had been in custody since October 2021, serving nearly two months

The offender appeared in court on Monday, December 20, sporting a fresh black eye from an altercation that had occurred whilst in custody.

She heard it read that the theft took place on April 9 at CGL's Northampton premises in Billing Road, where a window had been left unlocked.

The prosecution said: "The theft was not discovered until the April 14, although the receptionist had noticed items were missing beforehand, including a brand new mobile phone.

"The defendant entered the premises through a window, which had been left ajar. After that she pushed an object against the reception desk and used it to climb in and take the item, which had been issued as a work phone for staff.

"She then left the way she came in, but returned around 20 minutes later, where she also took a radio."

The theft was only Gregory's latest offence, adding to a long list of convictions.

Her first offence was a common assault in 1995. This was followed by damaging property, two breaches of community orders in 2015 and 2016.

Other offenses included thefts from shops in 2009, as well as multiple rounds of drunk and disorderly. This among many others, which led the defence to call her history 'unenviable'.

Gregory was later stopped by police for driving without insurance, where officers found the stolen phone in her possession.

The then 51-year-old claimed to have bought the phone, reportedly paying '100 pounds'. However police soon discovered how she had really obtained it.

Gregory, who claimed to be drug free since 2013, returned the stolen radio to staff at the CGL centre, saying she 'didn't just want to leave it', as was read by the prosecution.

Recorder Michael Auty QC, presiding, agreed with both advocates that a suspended sentence would be sufficient to 'punish and compel' Gregory to stop her reoffending, citing renewed hope in her family connections.

He said: "There are an awful lot of good things that have gone on in your life. I think mainly your family. It is close to Christmas and I would like you to spend that time with them.

"When you last spoke with me, there was a woman you were working with who you had some confidence in. If you can, I ask that you please reach out to her so that you do not slip again."

Lesley Jane Gregory was given six months in prison, suspended for 18 months. She was also told to pay the standard statutory victim surcharge.