A MOTHER who was caught stealing from Tesco when she had her four children with her has appeared at North Devon Magistrates’ Court.
Vicki Tymon, 31, of Middle Combe Drive, Barnstaple, pleaded guilty to four charges of theft when she appeared before magistrates on Friday.
Karen Ball, for the prosecution, told that court how on November 19, Tymon was seen on CCTV by staff at Tesco wandering around the store pushing a buggy. She was seen to pick up a kettle and some washing powder, along with other items, and go to the self-service checkouts.
The court heard how Tymon paid for some items, but put the washing powder straight into the buggy, by-passing the scanner, and staff later found an empty kettle box stashed in the store.
On November 26, Tymon was seen shopping at the store with her four children, who she left in the café while she went to do some shopping. She was seen to pick up four boxes of Heroes chocolates, and give them to her two older children to carry, before leaving the store without paying.
The next day, she returned to the store and stole an item of nightwear along with a loaf of bread by concealing them in her buggy.
On December 18, Tymon returned to the store with her children, and was spotted concealing items of food in her bag by security staff. She was detained and police were called, but she was bailed to attend the police station the following day because her children were with her.
Nigel Treasaden, for the defence, said his client, who has no previous convictions, had been struggling to support her family since her husband was sent to prison last January.
He said: “She was in a desperate state, and with Christmas approaching, the pressure started to build.
“She has very limited money, and the children wanted this, that and the other, so she succumbed to the temptation to steal.”
He said that some items she had taken were for the families use, but other things like the chocolates, she intended to sell to friends to pay for gas and electric bills.
He said that Tymon was so ashamed, she could not bear to watch the CCTV footage in the interview, and was devastated that she was caught when her children were there.
Presiding magistrate Robin Hagley said he was alarmed that her children were with her, and were even given stolen goods to carry from the store.
Tymon was ordered to pay £44 in compensation to Tesco, and a £15 victim surcharge.
She was also given a 12-month conditional discharge.
Mr Hagley added that Tymon should consider herself “extremely lucky” to have not ended up with a stronger sentence.