A WOMAN stole from a Clitheroe shop because she needed money to pay off a drug debt.

Blackburn magistrates heard Sarah Healey was being threatened with violence at a time when her life was in turmoil.

Healey, 35, of Tythebarn Street, Darwen, pleaded guilty to stealing curtains worth £48 from Dawsons department store. She was given a conditional discharge for six months and ordered to pay £20 victim surcharge.

Jonathan Taylor, defending, said since the offences was committed at the beginning of December his client had managed to obtain a private tenancy and her benefits were in place.

“At the time of the offence she was sofa surfing, didn’t have benefits in place and was being reminded that she owed money for drugs,” said Mr Taylor.

“A lot of the time drug dealers draw people in, get them in debt and then control them with the threat of violence.

“They do not let any debts go by and are prepared to implement their threats.”