Pregnant shoplifter gets prison warning



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A pregnant woman has been warned she could face giving birth behind bars after being convicted of stealing more than £100 worth of perfume from a South Tyneside store.

Lisa Morton, now eight months pregant, admitted stealing the fragrances from Asda, in Coronation Street, South Shields, on Wednesday.

The 32-year-old denied a second charge of stealing £126 worth of perfume from the same store on Saturday, July 5.

Ian Cassidy, defending, requested that CCTV footage from the store be provided by the Crown Prosecution Service so he can review the denied offence.

The case was adjourned by South Tyneside magistrates until Monday.

Morton, of Beach Road, South Shields, was remanded in custody until then because of her extensive criminal record.

She was given a three-week jail sentence suspended for 12 months in April for a theft from Shoe Zone in King Street, South Shields. The court heard that she had she had only been released from prison for a matter of days when she carried out the shoe shop theft.

Magistrates will have the option of activating the suspended prison term as well as sentencing her for the new offence.

Stan Sudworth, prosecuting, said: “On July 9, security alarms were activated. Morton had put boxes of perfume valued at £134 in her bag and left the store with the security tags still on.

“The aggravating feature is that her record is pretty extensive.

“She was given a suspended sentence order in April. She is also on police bail for another offence and is due at Sunderland Magistrates’ Court on July 22. You must keep in mind her current condition, but if she is given bail, there is a risk of further offending.”

Mr Cassidy said: “It’s fair to say her record will be a cause of some concern.

“At the time of the offence, she had no benefits. She has now made a claim for benefits, and that is pending.

“She is about eight months pregant now. She doesn’t want to cause the court any more difficulty.”

Neil Woodward, chairman of the magistrates, remanded Morton in custody because of the risk of re-offending and her previous record.

Morton will appear by videolink at Monday’s hearing.


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