AN HABITURAL shoplifter who stole to fund her heroin addiction has been jailed.

Linda Dodsworth pleaded guilty at Darlington Magistrates’ Court on Thursday (March 28) to burglary with intent to steal from the town’s Oxfam shop and to stealing a £124.99 television from Clearance Bargains.

She also asked for a further offence of stealing hair straighteners from Asda to be taken into consideration.

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The court heard that Dodsworth, of Stanhope Road North, Darlington, was given a suspended prison sentence in January for offending whilst serving a community order for previous thefts.

Mitigating, Ben Pegman said that the 28-year-old had a heroin addiction stretching back over a decade but had recently tested negative for the drug.

He said it was “an open secret” that there was probably more heroin available in prison than on the streets so a jail term would not help Dodsworth get clean.

Mr Pegman added that her partner was also a heroin addict who was serving a nine-week jail sentence and Dodsworth could use that time to wean herself off the drug without his influence.

Magistrates decided to activate the suspended prison sentence and added an extra four weeks onto the term, meaning Dodsworth will spend 20-weeks in prison.

As the sentence was passed, Dodsworth said: “I am buzzing; it means I will be out at the same time as Terry.”