A WOMAN has been given a conditional discharge for stealing a tester bottle of Kate Moss perfume, a court has heard.
Mandy Hooper, 45, of Brewer Road, Barnstaple, appeared in front of North Devon magistrates charged with the offence which took place on July 31.
The court heard Hooper had been in Lloyds Pharmacy in Eastern Avenue to pick up a prescription when she took the bottle which was near to the counter where she was stood.
Tim Hook, for the defence, said: "There was a large display of Kate Moss perfume which I suspect had not been selling well as it had been reduced from £39.15 to £10 a bottle.
"Miss Hopper had a little squirt and because she could not afford it, even at the reduced price, removed the tester and took it home."
Mr Hook said Hooper has a cardiac pulmonary condition meaning she gets out of breath often.
Since the theft she has been banned from the Lloyds Pharmacy, meaning she now has to walk across Barnstaple to pick up her prescription.
Mr Hook told the court Hooper was having £20 a week of her benefits removed due to the new bedroom tax and was in dire financial straits. "She is now here to be publicly pilloried for a few squirts of perfume despite her financial condition," he added.
Hooper pleaded guilty to the theft and was given a 12-month conditional discharge with a victim surcharge of £15.