A DRUG addict who stole pot plants after relapsing into heroin abuse was told by a judge to stop throwing chances ‘in the court’s face’ if she wanted to avoid jail.

Kristina Hinton had already admitted stealing plants worth £18 from Homebase when she appeared at Worcester Crown Court for sentence last week.

Hinton, previously of Shepherds Rise, Droitwich but now of no fixed abode stole the items from the store in Roman Way Retail Park, Droitwich, on Thursday, April 19.

The thefts placed her in breach of a suspended sentence, a conditional discharge and the terms of her licence.

The court heard two other people were involved, each of them taking one tray in each hand. Hinton carried the plants back to her home on the Westlands estate. The plants were not recovered. Hinton was arrested on May 17.

Hinton, who wept in the witness box, told the judge she had already spent 28 days in prison after being recalled on licence.

Nicholas Smith, prosecuting, said in police interview the 33-year-old had denied the theft but pleaded pleaded guilty before magistrates on June 7.

Hinton has 11 convictions for 21 offences, receiving a sentence of two years in prison for burglary. On January 12 last year she was convicted of possession of heroin, cocaine and methadone and given a conditional discharge.

Hinton, together with a woman and a man, committed a distraction burglary in 2016 against a man described as ‘elderly’. The man reported £280 in cash having been stolen along worth two paperweights worth £25 each.

A burglary followed at B&M Bargains in Droitwich, during which £39 of goods were stolen.

Simon Cooper, defending, said when Hinton was released from custody in October, 2017 she was homeless but found a job in a bar.

Her emergency application for benefits ‘did not come through particularly quickly’ and she was left homeless and with no income. “She was struggling, desperate” said Mr Cooper.

He described how she was 'destabilised' when she met her daughter, whom she had not seen for 14 months.

He said: “She began using heroin again. The relapse into heroin is what precipitated the deterioration in her engagement with the probation service.”

He said at the time of the theft of the pot plants she did not have a methadone script, had no food and no income and that the offence was committed ‘principally to fund her drug addiction’.

Mr Cooper said Hinton began using heroin 10 years ago following post-natal depression and had previously been attacked by ‘a jealous suitor’ who stabbed her in the face and ended up serving a four year prison sentence for grievous bodily harm.

Judge Robert Juckes QC said: “It’s only she can find the determination to avoid the commission of these offences. She keeps throwing back these chances in the court’s face.”

He deferred the sentence until Monday, September 24 to give her time to engage with the probation service and Willowdene which helps with drug rehabilitation.