A 52-year-old persistent shoplifter has been jailed for six months after admitting she deliberately set out to steal to fund a drug habit.

Blackburn magistrates heard Mary Theresa Breckell, of Nuttall Street Mews, Accrington, pleaded guilty to stealing goods worth £15 from Iceland. She was jailed for 10 weeks for the offence and a further 12 weeks for being in breach of a suspended prison sentence imposed in April for similar offences.

Catherine Allan, prosecuting, said Breckell was detained in the store and later admitted she had gone there with the intention of stealing, intending to sell the property to get money for drugs.

Gareth Price, defending, had come to court with her bag packed.

“She knows your starting point will be to activate the suspended prison sentence,” said Mr Price. “It is unfortunate she finds herself in this position due to the theft of just £15 worth of property.”

Chairman Les Hardy said the Bench could not ignore the fact that Breckell went to the shop with the intent to steal. The only person who can deal with your demons is you,” he added.