Stockton woman caught having sex in public during what judge says 'wasn't a good year at all'

Nicola Henderson was sentenced at Teesside Crown Court for a "raft of offences" committed last year. Credit: Gazette Media Company

A woman was caught having sex in public by a child and grandparent during what a judge said "wasn't a good year at all".

Nicola Henderson, of Bridge Road, Stockton, “did a little dance" after she was caught in the act.

The intoxicated 48-year-old also stabbed a shop security guard with a needle in Aldi when she was seen placing a bottle of whisky into a large handbag.

Henderson appeared at Teesside Crown Court on Monday 5 September for sentencing after being given one last chance to show she could turn her life around by a judge in May.

The prolific thief committed the offences while she was homeless last year.

The Middlesbrough court previously heard that in April, last year, Henderson, along with another woman, was in the Stockton Aldi store when she was seen placing a bottle of whisky into a large handbag.

Christopher Bevan, prosecuting, said a security guard witnessed the offence and tried to stop her from leaving the store.

But as he placed his hand in her bag to try to retrieve the alcohol she stabbed him with a needle.

Mr Bevan said: "He felt two sharp scratches, like injuries with a needle. He was left with two puncture marks."

Mr Bevan told the court Henderson did not recall stabbing him with the needle, but admitted the offence because she was a "drug addict" and also told officers she had previously had hepatitis C.

He said the victim, who had scars from the injury, said he was left very worried and depressed by the incident and had had to give up his job in retail security.

Judge Christopher Smith described the incident as “unpleasant” as Henderson caused the security staff member an “extraordinary amount of worry”.

Henderson also admitted having sex in a public place in the town in July last year.

Mr Bevan said through a window a child had witnessed, what they thought was two people having a fight outside, and alerted their grandparent.

The prosecutor said: "The grandmother said it was clear these two people were having sex in a public place. Another woman appeared and started shouting at the pair.

"The male got dressed and ran off, but the female took her time getting dressed and did a little dance."

He said police were called and when they tracked down the pair they were both heavily intoxicated.

Henderson also pleaded guilty to stealing £16.75 worth of alcohol from Sainsbury's in Middlesbrough, on 14 July, last year and stealing household items to the value of £79.13, together with a male, from B&M in Redcar on 17 December, last year.

The court heard that Henderson, who had a “troubled background”, had 24 previous convictions for a range of crimes including fraud, theft and prostitution.

However, since being placed on a homeless programme with Stockton Council she had not been in trouble and was trying hard to turn her life around.

Mr Bevan said Henderson had not been in any further trouble since she was last before the courts in May.

Speaking directly to Henderson, Judge Smith told her he had to sentence her for the “raft of offences” she “got up to last year”. He told how the defendant has a “got a bit of history” with stealing.

He also stated: “You also were so intoxicated you lost your sense of self and were seen having sex in public. Last year wasn't a good year at all.

"It has got to be a prison sentence. Whether you serve it is not up to me, it’s up to you.”

However, as she has been “doing very well over the last few months”, Judge Smith suspended her 18 month prison sentence for 18 months.

Henderson must also complete 30 rehabilitation activity requirement days.

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...