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'You're too old for crime' - judge tells Norwich grandmother found with stolen property in home

PUBLISHED: 13:53 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 15:06 12 July 2019

Christine Carriage

Christine Carriage

Archant

A Norwich grandmother who stockpiled stolen goods at her Bowthorpe bungalow has been told by a judge it was time she "retired" from committing crime.

Some of the 1,337 items of clothing and accessories seized by police at Christine Carriages Bowthorpe home in 2015. Picture: Norfolk ConstabularySome of the 1,337 items of clothing and accessories seized by police at Christine Carriages Bowthorpe home in 2015. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Christine Carriage, 71, was found to have a large amount of stolen property, much still with tags on, at her home in The Runnel, Three Score, near Bowthorpe.

The "cornucopia" of items were discovered after police executed a search warrant in October 2017 in relation to other matters.

Nicholas Bleaney, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said an auctioneers in Belfast have valued all the property found as just over £11,000.

But it is accepted the amount of property criminally obtained is worth around £1,760.

Some of the 1,337 items of clothing and accessories seized by police at Christine Carriages Bowthorpe home in 2015. Picture: Norfolk ConstabularySome of the 1,337 items of clothing and accessories seized by police at Christine Carriages Bowthorpe home in 2015. Picture: Norfolk Constabulary

Carriage, who has 14 previous convictions for more than 30 offences dating back to 1965, appeared for sentence on Thursday (July 11) having previously admitted acquiring or possessing criminal property.

Sentencing Carriage Judge Stephen Holt said the offence had crossed the custody threshold, but agreed to suspend it.

Before imposing a 24 week prison term, suspended for 18 months, Judge Holt said: "You really are getting too old for this."

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He added: "You've been at it since 1965.

"It really is time you retired from committing dishonesty offences."

Carriage was also ordered to do 20 days rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR).

The defendant was not however ordered to pay any costs following her conviction.

Andrew Oliver, mitigating for Carriage, accepted her previous convictions were a "fairly serious aggravating feature".'

But he said she is medicated for depression and has a number of medical difficulties, including being diabetic, suffering from COPD and is awaiting further scans for other issues.

He said perhaps her depression was a factor in her offending history.

As Judge Holt alluded to, it is not the first time Carriage has been before the court.

In 2015 she was given a six-month suspended sentence, after police found a total of 1,337 items of clothing, shoes and handbags at her address which was said to look more like a clothing warehouse.

At her previous sentencing in 2015, the court heard how police found a clothes rail eight foot long in one room, completely full of clothes.

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