A HEROIN addict mum who stole a charity box asked to be jailed to get the help she needs in prison.

Kerry Rogers used a small paving slab to smash a hole in the door window of a Worcester opticians before reaching inside to snatch £20 in cash from a cardboard charity box.

The 43-year-old mother-of-two was jailed for the smash-and-grab raid at Brauchli Opticians in St Swithin's Street in the city centre when she appeared before magistrates in Worcester on Friday.

The mother of Elmfield Gardens, Worcester, had breached a community order set up to help her after the charity box theft, failing to attend an appointment.

Her solicitor, Mark Sheward, said there was no chance she would follow the terms of the order, inviting magistrates to jail her instead.

In a display of kindness, staff at the city opticians have expressed the hope that Rogers can get the help she needs to beat her addiction to the class A drug in what magistrates acknowledged was a 'sorry scenario'.

The raid happened between between September 7 and 9 last year when Rogers stole the contents of a box for the the People's Dispensary for Sick Animals.

The charity box was on the reception desk to the right of the door and a Sight Concern charity box was also knocked off. The defendant left her blood at the scene, allowing police forensics to identify her. The charity boxes are no longer kept in that location.

The receptionist, Sandra Burch, said she felt 'absolutely sick' after arriving at work to discover the break-in. The cobbler from the shop next door came in with her to make sure there was no-one inside the opticians.

Mrs Burch said of Rogers: "That's not an easy thing, to say I will have to go to prison to get that help. I hope she can turn it around."

Manager Wendy Eichel said Rogers 'must have been desperate' and said: "I take my hat off to her if she can stand up and say I want help."

Rogers failed to attend an appointment with the probation service on November 29 last year as part of a community order made on November 14 last year, placing her in breach.

Her solicitor therefore applied for the order to be revoked and for his client to be resentenced for the original theft offence.

Mr Sheward said her chaotic lifestyle prevented her completing the order and that she was on the street, mixing with people who supplied her with heroin.

However, in prison she will get a methadone prescription 'almost immediately', medication used to wean drug users off heroin.

He said: "The only thing that will change or will allow her to change is if she spends some time in custody. If you make another order she won't do it."

Mr Sheward said of the mother: "She says 'I haven't given them (her children) any life at all. I have concentrated more on using heroin that I have on my own children'.

"She is beginning to accept if she doesn't change she is going to have no relationship with her children or die a very early death."

Simon Freebairn, chairman of the bench, said: "It's most unusual to have a defendant who wishes to go to custody."

However, he said their decision to jail her was based on the sentencing guidelines for the offence rather than her desire to be jailed. Giving her credit for her early guilty plea, magistrates jailed her for 12 weeks.