Shoplifter hit pet shop three times

Mansfield Magistrates Court.

Mansfield Magistrates Court.

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A shoplifter stole goods from Mansfield Aquatic Reptile and Pet Centre three times in four days in order to buy food after her benefits were stopped, a court has heard.

Helen Ward, 32, of Tideswell Court, Mansfield, admitted four counts of theft, which included stealing items from the pet centre on Nursery Street worth respectively £51, £45 and £158 on March 25, 26 and 28.

Ward also admitted stealing razor blades worth £3.99 from Superdrug in Mansfield on March 8.

She had been due to appear before magistrates on March 24 but told the court she was too poorly to attend.

The court heard Ward and her co-accused were caught on CCTV and identified before they were arrested in the pet centre on March 28.

Donna Pursglove, mitigating, said Ward had three children in care and had been struggling after the death of her ex partner and parents.

“This caused her a lot of grief on a daily basis. She fully accepts that when things go wrong she resorts to heroin.”

She told police that her benefits had been stopped and she intended to sell the stolen goods to buy food.

“She doesn’t want to be in this situation any more,” said Ms Pursglove.

“It is trying to find alternatives for her rather than going straight back to heroin.”

Magistrates sentenced her to 93 days in prison and put her on a 12 month supervision order following her release. She was ordered to pay £50 compensation to the shop.