A DROITWICH woman who claimed she had conquered her drug addiction was caught with two class A substances in her handbag.
But, she claimed the two foil wraps of heroin and small rocks of cocaine had been in her bag for eight to 12 months and that she had forgotten they were even there.
Karen Lesley Symons, of Drovers Green, pleaded guilty to two counts of possessing an A class drug and one charge of theft at Redditch Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (July 22).
The court heard how the 52-year-old had been out shopping in Bromsgrove with an elderly friend, who she cares for on a voluntary basis, on July 8.
Symons was in Peacocks at around 12midday when she attracted the attention of security guards by placing two tops in her bag and leaving without making a payment.
When confronted, the staff noticed Symons was trying to conceal something.
The police were called and the officers who attended searched her and found the drugs.
Defending, Katie Oliver said her client had had money on her person and had been having a nice day with her friend when they went into Peacocks.
She added how Symons’ friend had been looking at two tops she really liked when without thought or premeditation Symons put the tops in her bag
The court heard Symons had been using an old handbag which she had quickly picked up that morning, claiming she did not even know she had the drugs in there.
Miss Oliver explained how, at the time, her client had been going through a rough time and had forgotten to take her medication for two days, so was not thinking straight.
The court heard how Symons had been on a mixture of anti-psychotics and anti-depressants for a chemical imbalance.
The defence added the new medication had helped Symons to get clean and stay out of trouble.
The court was also reminded how Symons had fully complied with the security guards and police and had even offered to be tested at the station.
The magistrates handed Symons a 24-month conditional discharge and ordered her to pay £85 in costs and a £15 victim surcharge.
Chairman of the bench Peter Jewell said: “We have heard the details from both the prosecution and from your solicitor and are taking into account you pleaded guilty and that you are clearly remorseful.
“If you do not continue to make the progress you are making and relapse in any way you will be brought back to court.”