Woman, 37, Arrested Under her Bed

Highbury Magistrates Court
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By Noa Mokhnachi and Youna Kabongo

A woman has been sentenced  today to six months’ conditional discharge at Highbury Magistrates Court for theft and aggressive behaviour.

Tania Byrne, 37, from Fordwych Road was caught in Tesco Kilburn stealing three bottles of wine worth £25.25 at around 4am yesterday and pleaded guilty to the charges.

The prosecution told the district judge that when Byrne was caught, she offered to pay for the wines, but  she was told to wait until 8am due to alcohol selling regulations. Refusing to wait, she became very agitated and aggressive, smashing two of the bottles on the floor before running away with the third one.

At this point she shouted in the court: “I wanted to pay but they didn’t let me.”

Her solicitor said that Byrne is an alcoholic: “She was sober for three months before last night.” The woman went back to her old habits after ending an abusive relationship with her boyfriend, the solicitor said.

After running away, Byrne was followed and found under her bed in her council flat. She was arrested and brought to the police station, where she showed aggressive behaviour towards officers and was remanded for 24 hours in custody.

Currently under a suspended sentence from Crown Court on a previous conviction, Byrne received the support of the Crown Court Judge who sent a letter praising her efforts to get back on the right track despite the tough difficulties she had to go through in her life.

“The defendant is currently attending counselling four times a week,”  said her solicitor.

Byrne suffers from bipolar disorder and went through abusive relationships and sexual assaults in the past from the age of 18, the court heard.

On sentencing, the district judge took into consideration her guilty plea and the judge’s letter but also the fact that due to her behaviour she will be evicted from her council flats in October. She was fined £113.

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