Drug addictions can turn an individual into a shell of his or her former self; the affected person can begin to act differently than before, which can often come as a shock to loved ones. It is important to remember that because addiction is an illness, it can consume the life of the individual without him or her even realising; this can result in this person doing things that they would not normally do. One example of this is school teacher Margaret Redjeb, who stole £23,000 worth of electrical equipment from her employers to fund the drug addiction that had slowly taken over her life.
Belgrave St Peter’s C of E Primary School in Leicester were left with no other alternative but to cancel certain classes after a Ms Redjeb stole and then sold the electrical equipment to fund her severe drug addiction. Fifty-three-year-old Redjeb was found guilty of pawning 83 electrical devices including games consoles, laptops, tablets and cameras that all belonged to the school. Leicester Crown Court was told that Redjeb sold the items to Cash Converter, Cash Shop, Cash Generator, and Cash Zone to fund her £90-a-day drug addiction.
Downward Spiral of Depression, Debt and Addiction
She pleaded guilty to all charges of fraud between February 2013 and March 2015. During her court appearance, it was revealed that she ‘persuaded herself’ that she would buy back all the items once she had the funds to do so, but instead found herself in a downward spiral of depression, debt and addiction. Judge Philip Head said, “It was a school with difficulties, including being financially stretched and close to breaking point, with a significant number of knock-on costs over and above the value of the equipment. You knew what you were doing was thoroughly dishonest and it was going to hurt a number of people. You reached a point where you were spending up to £90 a day on codeine, and you lacked the means to fund that.”
“Your Mind Was Clouded”
He added, “I accept, to an extent, your mind was clouded when you, in effect, stole from the school by taking 83 items of electrical equipment over two-and-a-quarter years. You went to the pawnbrokers, persuading yourself that one day you’d be able to buy them back – but that never happened. It continued pretty much up until you were caught. It was a breach of a significant degree of trust.”
Redjeb was sentenced to sixteen months in prison with a two-year suspension and a ten-day rehabilitation order.
A History of Unhappiness
Head teacher Vikki Kenney explained in a victim impact statement that some ICT classes and after-school clubs had been stopped and the course was ‘undeliverable’ as they did not have access to any of the essential equipment required to complete basic coursework. Mitigating barrister Stephen Bailey explained that these offences had stemmed from ‘a history of unhappiness’ in regards to Redjeb’s marriage breakdown and the tragic death of both her parents. He added, “She’s lost her job and good character, and she won’t be able to work with children in the future.”
Help and Support with Addiction
Those who are affected by addiction often find that their life quickly spirals out of control because of their behaviour, with the only way to recover often with professional help. If you are worried about how a drug addiction is affecting your life or the life of a loved one, then contact us here at Recovery Lighthouse. We specialise in supporting those looking to overcome many types of addiction, and we can assist them with moving on to lead a sober life afterwards. If you would like any further information or have any queries, do not hesitate to get in touch with us today and we will help you in any way that we can.
Source: School had to cancel classes after computer technician pawned £23,000 of equipment to fund drug addiction (Mirror.co.uk)