Mansfield mum gave three excuses for shoplifting

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Mansfield mum of four who stole clothing and razors from Asda offered three different excuses when she was caught, magistrates have heard.

Rebecca Hartshorn doubled back to the tills at the Forest Town store, on June 5, but failed to pay for £104 of items and the alarm went off.

Prosecutor Rod Chapman said Hartshorn told security staff: “I have paid for some of the stuff. I forgot to pay for these.”

She later said she bought the goods from Tesco, even though they clearly had Asda stickers on them.

“In police interview, she admitted taking the items but then offered a third explanation,” said Mr Chapman.

“She said - “I thought it was going to be easy. It is the first time I have done this. I offered to pay but the staff said no. I have £400.”

“She said the items were for a friend and her reason for not using her money was that she felt her friend was unlikely to repay her if she purchased them legitimately.”

Hartshorn, 22, of Woodhouse Road, admitted theft when she appeared before magistrates in Mansfield, on Monday.

The court heard she eight convictions for 12 previous offences, and was given a suspended sentence, in January 2017, for three common assaults.

Chris Perry, mitigating, said she had demonstrated an ability to change and impressed the probation service.

“Aged 15 she was already addicted to drugs and misusing cannabis, M-Cat and amphetamine,” he said.

Hartshorn quit drugs when she fell pregnant, but began abusing alcohol when her children were taken into care following an abusive relationship, Mr Perry said, but she was now free of drink and drugs.

“She is now at college two days a week, studying maths, English and personal skills, and is now looking to get back in work,” he said.

“She was doing this under some pressure from another offender.”

The suspended sentence was extended by another six months because of her “significant compliance” with probation.

She was given a 12 month community order with 80 hours of unpaid work, and must pay an £85 victim surcharge.