Barnstaple woman failed to turn up to meetings with probation after she became ill, North Devon Magistrates’ Court heard.

A Barnstaple woman has been given ‘one last chance’ by magistrates after failing to turn up to a meeting with the probation service.

Bridie Ellen Hopkins, 39, of Hunter Walk, admitted failing to comply with the requirements of her post-custodial supervision after being released from prison.

Hopkins had been serving time for an assault, theft and failing to surrender to custody charges.

North Devon Magistrates’ Court heard Hopkins had failed to turn up to meetings with her supervisor in February, and probation had been unable to contact her.

But Tony Dart, defending, said Hopkins, who was sobbing in the dock, had become ill and as a result been unable to attend her appointments or pick up her methadone script.

Magistrates spent some time considering whether to send Hopkins back to prison.

Chairman of the bench Peter Lawrence told her: “You should be under no illusion at all that this is a serious matter.

“But we’re going to give you a final chance - and I stress to you that this really is a final chance.”

Magistrates fined Hopkins £75 and Mr Lawrence warned her if she breached the order again, any future court would be ‘very likely’ to send her into custody.

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