TWO friends stole a bundle of magazines from outside a South Tyneside shop during an early-morning walk so they could do crosswords.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court heard Colin Christie, 26, and Marcelle Mason, 29, bumped into each other in the early hours of August 10 while out walking the streets of Cleadon Park in South Shields.
The pair went down the back lane of shops at The Nook, where they saw bundles of magazines at Tesco and took one, worth £60.
When store bosses turned up to take in the delivery, they realised one was missing and checked CCTV.
It showed Mason, of nearby Cedar Grove, and Christie, of Quarry Lane, take the bundle.
They recognised Mason as she was recently barred from the Prince Edward Road shop.
They both pleaded guilty to theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “The police were called by the manager of Tesco, after staff realised some magazines that should have been outside the shop were missing.
“CCTV showed the pair approach the boxes the magazines were in and take about £60 worth. The manager recognised Mason as she had been banned from the shop.”
Mr Laidlaw said when Mason and Christie were arrested they said they thought the magazines must have been rubbish, because they were near bins.
He added: “They said they had stolen them to do the crosswords.”
Michelle Stonley, defending, said: “Miss Mason is suffering from depression and is getting help from her GP.
“She has lost two close family members recently, and was finding it extremely difficult. She moved in with her brother and her drinking escalated.
“The two of them live quite close together and on this morning neither could sleep and went out for a walk.
“They bumped into each other and took the magazines for their own use.”
District Judge Helen Cousins fined them both £75 and ordered them each to pay £30 compensation, a £20 victim surcharge and £42.50 costs.