Hungry woman admits theft
HOMELESS and hungry, a woman went shoplifting in Shepton Mallet with a man because they wanted something to eat.
Stacey Leanne Smith went to the Tesco store and scanned the items she had in her basket but then cancelled the transaction.
The man she was with then fled from the store with the items in a bag and they were found later dumped in a nearby shop and both of them were arrested.
Smith, 20, of Cornwall Road, Shepton Mallet, pleaded guilty to stealing food items worth £15.40 from Tesco on September 7 when she appeared before Somerset Magistrates sitting at Yeovil.
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She also admitted a similar offence four days later involving the theft of £2 worth of food from the Co-op.
Emma Chetland, prosecuting, said that Smith was caught on CCTV entering Tesco with a man and she selected some food items and scanned them at the self-service checkout.
"She then cancelled the transaction and the man ran off with the bag of food," she said.
On September 11 she was caught on camera again stealing some items from the Co-op and after being arrested admitted both offences.
Defending solicitor Ray Peters said that at the time of the offences Smith had no money, no accommodation and was either sofa-surfing or living in a tent.
He said: "During the first incident she only had 24p on her and when she tried to pay for the goods with her debit card it was refused. They then attempted to leave the store and the items were abandoned."
The magistrates imposed a six month conditional discharge on Smith and ordered her to pay a total of £9 compensation and a £15 victim surcharge.