Hard-up mum stole a present for her children

A HARD-UP mum who stole a Christmas present for her children was told to pay compensation to the toy shop she swiped it from.

Corrine Smith, 23, of Wishing Tree Road North, St Leonards admitted stealing a toy keyboard, worth £30 from the Early Learning Centre, at Priory Meadow, on December 15, when she appeared at Hastings Magistrates Court last week.

Mark Kateley, prosecuting, said: “This was very straightforward, she picked up the child’s keyboard, put it on her pram handles and walked out of the shop.

“She later full admitted taking it. She has previous convictions for shoplifting which go back ten years.

Ronan Crummy, defending, said: “The last time she was in trouble for this type of offence was in June 2008.

“These are extreme financial times for many families. She has two children to look after. She stole the toy, which was to have been a Christmas present.”

Chairman of the bench Gordon Waters told her: “Times may be hard but that is still no excuse to go out stealing Christmas presents.”

She was given a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered to pay the Early Learning Centre £30 compensation.