A woman who stole fuel from petrol stations has been given her “last chance” by magistrates.

Terrie Ann West, 39, of Amesbury Avenue in Waltham Abbey, pleaded guilty to five fuel thefts totalling £508.52 over a five-month period, from January 30, using a Mini Countryman to commit the crimes.

The petrol was stolen from various locations across Essex, including £65 worth taken from Tesco in Sewardstone Road, Waltham Abbey, on May 24.

She was handed a 12-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete six months of drug rehabilitation, as well as paying an £80 victim surcharge and costs of £85.

West was said to have owed a "substantial amount" of money for Class A drugs and to have been "intimidated on a daily basis" to commit the offences.

Chelmsford Magistrates' Court was also told that West had helped identify some of those also involved and two others accused of similar offences appeared separately and were bailed until a later date. 

Addressing West, chair of the bench, Bob Prince said: "It was organised, planned and the money involved was a high value. This is your last chance."

Hannah Sutton, mitigating, said: "She's being going through a difficult time of late. She is addicted to Class A substances.

“She became involved with a group of people to whom she owed a considerable amount and was intimidated on a daily basis."