Mum used pram to steal goods from two stores

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A shoplifting mum used a pram to conceal £103 worth of stolen goods, a court heard.

Paula Barker, 31, piled coffee, alcohol, washing powder and toiletries into the base of a push-chair and stole them from Thirlmere Stores in Flanshaw on May 13.

City magistrates heard how Barker went into the store with two children, one of whom was in a push-chair. She placed some items underneath the chair and some in a basket. She approached staff and asked for credit. Her request was declined but Barker took the goods in the chair.

The court also heard about a similar offence at B&M, Ings Road, on June 28 which involved Barker and another woman.

Barker was again pushing a pram. Hair straighteners and cosmetics were put in a bag underneath the pram and Barker tried to leave, but the goods were recovered.

Barker, of Beckley Road, Darnley admitted two counts of theft. Caroline Deacon, mitigating, said her client had kept out of trouble for a while but had encountered a number of “personal problems, which has resulted in her turning to alcohol as a crutch. That has led to the latest spate of offending”.

Barker was given a six-week curfew order from 7pm to 7am daily. She must pay £103 compensation.