Drug-using shoplifter fined just £1 for dodging taxi fare

Haverigg Prison
Haverigg Prison
12 October 2017 2:23PM

A TAXI fare dodger with a history of drug abuse and shoplifting has been fined £1.

Carolyn Helen Ruth Brosnan was initially handed a suspended jail sentence in 2015 for trying to smuggle class A drugs into Haverigg Prison.

She flouted that order by shoplifting, for which she received an additional, concurrent suspended prison term last September.

But 44-year-old Brosnan then found herself in further trouble. Carlisle Crown Court heard earlier this year that on five separate occasions Brosnan pinched £413.50 worth of goods - including champagne and spirits - from Windermere's Booths store.

After being given time by a judge to attend a drug detoxification course, Brosnan was sentenced for the shoplifting spree - and breaches - in late July. She received 20 days' rehabilitation and was banned from Booths for two years.

But it later emerged Brosnan had committed an additional offence on April 1, when she fled from a taxi in Windermere without paying the £25 fare. Police were alerted after the driver recognised her.

But a delay meant Brosnan did not receive a court summons for that crime until August.

Magistrates later committed her case to the crown court, where she appeared today and admitted further suspended prison sentence breaches.

The judge, Recorder Kevin Grice, was stunned to learn it had taken four months to send her the summons, and requested an explanation.

Had Brosnan been notified earlier, Recorder Grice observed, she would have been sentenced for the taxi crime with other matters in July.

"It is inconceivable to me this would have made any difference to the sentence imposed," he concluded.

As it was, Brosnan, of no fixed address, now faced separate punishment for the extra breaches. Recorder Grice gave her a six-month conditional discharge for the taxi crime, and a nominal £1 breach fine.

"I am sorry you have been brought here," the judge told Brosnan. "It has been, frankly, a gross waste of everybody's time and money, and it is not your fault."

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