Mansfield woman stole from shop because of debts

A MANSFIELD mum-of-three plagued by debts after her husband lost his job relapsed into crime, a court was told on Monday.

Claire Harris (34) had a drink problem up to 2005, when she was locked up. She committed an offence of dishonesty in 2008 but then stayed out of trouble.

Her solicitor, Chris Perry, said she ran into trouble again when her husband lost his job and was then jailed for burglary and theft.

“This left the family in a terrible state. She was a single mum with debts up to her eyeballs and she committed this theft under a great deal of strain,” said Mr Perry.

Mike Treharne, prosecuting, told Chesterfield magistrates that Harris was seen placing £100 worth of clothes into a bag before walking out of Sports Direct, Shirebrook, without paying for them.

“She said she went with a friend to buy trousers and saw clothes without security tags and got carried away.

“She and others were in a car and they tried to get out but the gates were locked by staff. Efforts were then made to pull the gates open.”

Harris, formerly known by the surname Walters, told police she stole because hse had no money for gas, electricity and food.

Harris, of Booth Crescent, Mansfield, admitted the 2nd June theft and was given a two-year conditional discharge.

“She won’t be doing this again. Her husband is out of prison and they are trying to deal with a debt crisis,” said Mr Perry.