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Scunthorpe Telegraph Thursday, July 25 - Wednesday, July 31, 2013

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Breaking news 24/7 on scunthorpetelegraph.co.uk

Thursday, July 25 - Wednesday, July 31, 2013 Scunthorpe Telegraph

IN BRIEF ...
Burst main
A SECTION of Church Lane in Scunthorpe was closed for more than four days after a water main burst on Friday, July 19. The incident happened at around 1.30am and initially affected around 40 homes, although 20 were reconnected overnight. Anglian Water staff began repairing the main on Friday, before damage to the road caused by the incident was also repaired. The road was closed between the junction with Exeter Road and the traffic lights for Oswald Road, Ashby Road and Station Road until around 4.30pm on Tuesday, July 23.

SKINT: FIGHT AGAINST DRUGS


BY SIMON LEONARD simon.leonard@gsmg.co.uk Twitter: @Simon_scuntel
SKINTS Tracey Stamp whose life as a drug-taking and shop-lifting prostitute was showcased on the Channel 4 series today told how seeing herself on TV has made her try to turn her life around. The Scunthorpe mother-of-four, whose children have been taken off her, says she is now off the drugs, off the game and is training to help other addicts beat their demons. And she has made such good progress, magistrates have praised her for staying out of trouble. Skint, which caused huge controversy for its portrayal of life in Scunthorpe, and particularly life on the Westcliff estate, filmed Tracey being arrested for shoplifting and talking candidly about using drugs and prostituting herself on the towns streets. But the 32-year-old, who has more than 20 criminal convictions, says the four-part series, broadcast in May and June, gave her a major wake-up call.

IN BRIEF ...
Home delivery
ARREST: In this screen grab from Channel 4s Skint, Tracey Stamp gets into a police car after being arrested for shoplifting THE Scunthorpe Telegraph reception has closed so why not get the paper delivered to your home? You can do this by calling 01724 273273 and choosing option three. Alternatively the nearest retailers to our offices who sell the paper are Train Station News, Ellis Stores, Supernews and Heron.

Centre closed

EPWORTH Leisure Centre will be closed from 8.30am to 5pm tomorrow (Friday, July 26) to allow for repairs to a fault on the electricity network. A North Lincolnshire Council spokeswoman said: Northern Powergrid has told us that to repair the electricity fault, it needs to temporarily switch off the power supply. Unfortunately, this means we will have to close the centre again. We will be open as usual once the work has taken place and would like to take this opportunity to thank customers for their patience and apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

The shoplifting, the drugs, the prostitution, losing my kids it destroyed my life
Tracey Stamp
In an interview with the Scunthorpe Telegraph she said: It was watching myself in Skint that made me realise I needed to turn my life around. The shoplifting, the drugs, the prostitution, losing my kids it destroyed my life When I watched myself on the show, I just looked really ill and I could not live like that. If I was still like that now, I would be going to jail. And the fact Tracey says the show has had a positive impact on her means she has no regrets about appearing before the cameras. She said: That was what life at that time was like for me. I was a prostitute and I was a shoplifter. I dont regret doing it [Skint], because it has made me turn my life around. I am not sorry for going on Skint, but I do regret some of the things I said on it. If I had not watched it, I would still be where I was. Traceys battle against drug addiction has had a major impact on her life. She says that her appearance on Skint led to her being paid 200 for a topless photo that appeared in the Sunday Sport newspaper and she says she did that to pay for drugs. Tracey said she started shoplifting when she was just 15 years old, after she ran away from home. I was 18 when I started taking heroin and I went on the methadone programme when I was 21, she said.

Final market

THE last Stennets market is taking place in Brigg today (Thursday, July 25) after more than 90 years association with the town. The Thursday market has been running in Brigg since 1918 and for the past 26 years by Ken Walker, who is now retiring. North Lincolnshire Council, which owns the building where the market is run, looked for expressions of interest in the site following Mr Walkers decision to retire. It is understood a new leaseholder has been secured.

On Skint I looked really ill. If I was like that now Id be going to prison
When I lost my kids, I just was not listening to anybody. I went into self-destruct mode. Tracey said the drugs took control of her life. When you are on heroin, you dont really care about anything, she said. The drugs just take over your entire life. I was still on the drugs when I watched Skint on the television. I thought about committing suicide before a couple of times I thought about hanging myself. I felt alone I have never really been an open person and I am not good at opening up. Sometimes you just have to ask for help. Tracey is currently taking the drug Soboxone, which is used to treat opiate addiction, and she said she has received a lot of support from her new partner. I have been with my new partner since the end of March and he has supported me, she said. I cannot get in many shops now, because of my shoplifting I just send my fella shopping. If I go into shops, I get staff following me. Tracey said she was trying to get contact with her two eldest children. She also has two younger ones who have been adopted. Her fight to improve her life has emerged at North Lincolnshire Magistrates Court where she appeared on an offence of theft, committed in February. The court was told she was charged with stealing a pair of ladies Graceland brand boots, worth 29.99, from Deichmann Shoes on Cole Street in Scunthorpe. She also appeared charged with committing a further offence breaching a conditional discharge imposed in October 2012. During this months hearing into her progress, Martin Howarth, prosecuting, said: On Tuesday, February 12, the defendant was found to exit the shop and the security alarm went off. She left and started running down Jubilee Way, when a worker from the shop chased after her. She ran along Jubilee Way and went into a coffee shop. The member of staff was joined by a security guard and she approached Ms Stamp, who pulled a pair of boots out of her bag. During her interview, she told police: I have been stupid, I do not know why I have done it. I acted on the spur of the moment. At the time, I was feeling down and thought by stealing I would feel better, but I did not. I should not have done it. The court was told that Tracey has 23 convictions for 43 offences and she was given a conditional discharge in October 2012 for the offences of making two false statements and failing to notify change in circumstances. Simon Davies, mitigating, told the court that since this order was imposed, Tracey had turned her life around. On February 28, she appeared at North Lincolnshire Magistrates Court, where District Judge Daniel Curtis took the view that he would impose a deferment from February to now and a condition not to reoffend. In the past, she has not always been good complying with community orders, but to my shame, I wholly underestimated her. She appears to have undergone a transformation and she has not committed a single offence and has complied fully. She has made significant progress in her life and this is partly due to her new partner, but also from appearing in a television show called Skint. If ever the view a picture tells a thousand words was true of anybody, it was watching herself on that television show and it brought home to her what a wretched and miserable existence she was living. A probation report read out by Lizzie Wright said: Her

Kidnap charge

NOW AND THEN: Tracey Stamp as she is now, left, and on Skint

Candid look at estate life


SKINT was a Channel 4 documentary aired in May and June and, at his height, was watched by more than three million viewers. The show focused on the lives of people living on the Westcliff estate who were struggling with unemployment and Tracey Stamp featured heavily in the show. Skint focused on Traceys day-to-day life and she spoke candidly to the filmmakers about her life, which included frank accounts of her drug use, prostitution and shoplifting. In one scene during the series, Tracey was shown being arrested by police for shoplifting in Scunthorpe town centre. The show received an overwhelming amount of negative feedback from the community and Dean Bell, who was one of the main characters from the show, has since apologised for his role. National media coverage broke after the show was dubbed the real life Shameless and Tracey was featured topless in the Sunday Sport. Ofcom received 15 complaints from viewers who said the alleged criminal behaviour such as drug-taking and shoplifting had been glorified in the show. The final episode was watched by 2.81 million viewers, with 2.03 million having watched the third episode, 3.24 million viewers the second episode and 3.14 million the first.

A MAN has been charged with kidnap following an incident on Dale Street in Scunthorpe on Friday, July 12. Mantas Vilkaitis, 28, of Frodingham Road, Scunthorpe, was also charged with theft from a person, blackmail and actual bodily harm. Marius Zakarevicius, 25, of Buckingham Street, Scunthorpe was charged with blackmail relating to the same incident. Vilkaitis appeared at North Lincolnshire Magistrates Court on Tuesday, July 16 and Zakarevicius on Friday, July 19. Both men were remanded in custody to appear at Grimsby Crown Court on Monday (July 29).

Police deaths

THERE was one death during, or following, contact with Humberside Police last year, new figures show. Independent Police Complaints Commission data shows the death was an apparent suicide following custody.

Should drug addicts receive more help?


scunthorpetelegraph.co.uk

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Cyclist hurt

A CYCLIST suffered a broken wrist after being in collision with a Citroen Picasso on Station Road in Scunthorpe at around 8.10am on Monday. The cyclist was taken to Scunthorpe General Hospital by ambulance, while police and fire and rescue officers also attended the scene. The female car driver was not injured.

ON SCREEN: Tracey Stamp being arrested on the show appearance in the television show Skint has opened her eyes to this lifestyle and in particular, her physical appearance. Magistrate Malcolm Grogan said: This is a very encouraging report. It is hoped that

Driving arrests
OFFICERS have now arrested 123 people as part of Lincolnshire Polices Operation Blackwater summer crackdown on drink and drug-driving. The figure represents an average of 2.3 arrests per day since the campaign began on June 1.

this is a turning point and that you are going down the right route from now on. Tracey was handed a six-month conditional discharge and told to pay 85 court costs and a 15 victim surcharge. And after the hearing, Tracey told the Scunthorpe Telegraph she wants to continue her rehabilitation by helping others with their drug addictions. She said: I am doing a nine-week course to be a peer mentor for the Drug Intervention Programme (DIP), which I started on July 11. A few of my friends were peer mentors for DIP and if you manage to get one person off drugs, it helps. I want to be a drug worker to give people a bit more encouragement. I want to put the past behind me.

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