Meat thief hid Lidl goods down her leggings

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a WOMAN who stole meat from a South Tyneside store and tried to hide it in her leggings has been ordered to pay compensation.

Rochelle Rutherford was spotted by staff taking meat from Lidl, in Boldon Lane, South Shields, and attempting to conceal it in her clothing on November 19.

The 49-year-old was detained by workers after trying to leave the premises without paying for the food, valued at £3.18, and police were called.

Rutherford, of Beattie Street, South Shields, was arrested and taken to South Shields Police Station, where she was also found to be in possession of cannabis following a search by officers.

Rutherford pleaded guilty to shop theft and possession of a Class B drug at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.

Keith Laidlaw, prosecuting, said: “A staff member saw a bulge in her leggings and alerted the deputy manager. She was stopped and taken to the security office until police arrived.

“She was intoxicated.”

Geoffrey Forrester, defending, said: “She was a very vulnerable and unfortunate woman. She has an alcohol dependency.”

Rutherford was given a six month conditional discharge and ordered to pay compensation of £3.18 - as the meat was not fit to be resold - and a victim surcharge of £11.82.