A thief stole a children’s charity box – and used the cash to buy cocaine.
Emma Phillips, 34, of Hoyland Terrace, South Kirkby, ripped out the cardboard money container part of the charity box – which was collecting for the Great Ormond Street Hospital – at the South Kirkby Pharmacy, on Langthwaite Road, on December 20.
Phillips admitted theft from a shop at Wakefield and Pontefract Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, January 22.
The court heard that the box contained around £20, which she then used to buy the class A drug.
Phillips was arrested on January 5, and told police she had gone in to collect a prescription and had taken the money. She tested positive for cocaine when arrested.
Christopher Morton, mitigating, said: “She has an eight-year drug problem, she has joined a local rehab group and is on a methadone prescription. With regards to the offence, she was under peer pressure – she was meeting friends who are drug users and was pressured to go along with them. She says it was an isolated incident and generally has nothing wrong with her control.”
Phillips was fined £165 and ordered to pay compensation of £20 and £85 court costs.
Deputy district judge Meek said: “A lot of people are telling me that everything is fine, that it is under control. You stole money to buy drugs and tested positive on arrest. Whatever you are doing on a voluntary basis isn’t going that well.
“You should be ashamed of yourself, you should be embarrassed. People, in good faith, put money they had earned in that charity box so it could be collected and used for charitable purposes. You decided ‘no, I will have that and go and buy some cocaine with it’. It is so unacceptable it is unbelievable. It is disgraceful.”