How a phone thief’s court appearance made her £60 profit

South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.
South Tyneside Magistrates' Court.

A thief who stole a woman’s mobile phone from a South Tyneside supermarket ended up making a £60 profit from her day in court.

Rosemarie Hogg, of Windsor Crescent, Hebburn, snatched the shopper’s Nokia after it was left in the toilets of Morrisons in Jarrow on July 7.

She accepts she should’ve taken the phone to a security guard or someone else at the store

Christopher Brown

She was caught red-handed on in-store CCTV and arrested – before being hit with a £340 court bill.

But magistrates agreed to wipe out £400 of her previous court fines after it was revealed she owed £1,249 to the court from previous convictions, due to her lack of means.

The jobless 37-year-old admitted theft when she appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Jeanette Smith, prosecuting, said: “The complainant had left her handbag on the sink with the phone on top. She left the toilet and noticed her phone was missing.

“CCTV was viewed, showing the defendant coming out of the toilet and putting the phone in her pocket.

“She was arrested by police and, when interviewed, said she had picked up the phone off the floor of the toilets.” The court heard that the phone – which was valued at £190 – was never recovered.

Christopher Brown, defending, said: “She accepts she picked up the phone from the floor of the toilet.

“The lady must’ve been put it on top of her handbag and it has fallen off.

“It was a case of theft by finding.

“She accepts she should’ve taken the phone to a security guard or someone else at the store.

“She didn’t do that.”

Hogg was given a 12- month conditional discharge ordered to pay £190 compensation and a a criminal courts charge of £150.