> Yet another case of benefit sanctions leading to crime…
A woman went stole items from the same South Tyneside store as she was struggling for cash following a benefits sanction.
Sarah Stanton snatched DVDs worth a total of nearly £145 during three raids at WH Smith in King Street, South Shields.
The 27-year-old admitted three counts of shop theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Stanton, of Craster Avenue, Shiremoor, North Tyneside, carried out the thefts on Wednesday, March 26, Saturday, April 5 and Monday, April 7.
She stole a DVD box set and a Blu-Ray disc worth £54.98 in the first offence, took DVDs valued at £60 during the second theft and DVDs worth £30 in the final offence.
Jonathan Moore, prosecuting, said: “The thefts were from WH Smith in King Street.
“On Saturday, April 5, a store manager on duty did a check at 3.40pm and noticed a Game of Thrones DVD was missing.
“CCTV was viewed and a female was seen selecting DVDs worth £60 and left without making any attempt to pay.”
On April 8, Stanton was again spotted on CCTV taking more DVDs on footage from the day previous.
She was arrested while selling on the DVDs at another store in the town.
When arested, she also admitted the first theft from March 26.
Paul Kennedy, defending, said: “At the time this lady had her benefits sanctioned. She didn’t have any money and was living at a friend’s house. She sold the items on to get money to buy food.
These offences occured because she was in a difficult financial situation.”
She was given a 12-month conditional discharge by magistrates and ordered to pay compensation of £144.98 to the retail chain.
Source – Shields Gazette, 10 June 2014