Shops’ thief given second chance

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MAGISTRATES have given a Holbeach woman the chance to “pull her socks up” after she was caught stealing from several of the town’s shops.

Jenny Coombes (25), of St Matthew’s Close, stole from three shops to get money to pay her rent.

Spalding Magistrates’ Court was told on Thursday how she otherwise feared she would find herself homeless and turning back to a drug habit she was trying to kick.

Daniel Paulson, prosecuting, said Coombes was seen on CCTV leaving without paying for items from Boyes on January 30, Budgens on January 31, and the One Stop Shop on February 2 and 3. Tresemmé shampoo, air fresheners and washing tablets were among the stolen goods.

Coombes pleaded guilty to all four charges and admitted breaching a conditional discharge.

Mike Alexander, defending, said the mum of three, whose children are currently cared for by her own mother, had an existing drug problem and had since moved to take herself away from it.

He said she was seeking professional help.

Mr Alexander said: “At the time this was committed she was behind on her rent. What she said in interview was she had a decision to make on whether to go back on the streets or pay her rent.

“She said she was not stealing to pay for her drug habit.”

Magistrates handed her a two-year conditional discharge for the crimes.

Chairman of the bench Gill Wild said: “We recognise that you have made some strong strides and we would like you to have your children back. This is giving you a chance to pull your socks up and get your family back in order.”