Mum left penniless after tough times is spared jail after getting caught stealing from Asda
A mum was caught stealing from a superstore after being left penniless by a coercive ex-partner, a court heard.
Aimee Donaldson, 29, tried to steal candles and wax melts from Asda’s Boldon Colliery outlet but was nabbed by security guards as she left.
When she struck on Monday, June 28, Donaldson, of Burnside, Jarrow, was being forced to pay her benefits into her ex-boyfriend's bank account, the court heard.
She was also subject to a four-month suspended prison term, imposed almost a year earlier for brandishing a kitchen knife in Oban Street, Brockley Whins.
Borough magistrates were told she had broken free of the abusive relationship, having previously had a child by a man who was murdered.
And she had taken positive steps, including getting her own accommodation and taking up new job training.
Prosecutor Lesley Burgess said Donaldson had pleaded guilty to a theft from shop charge at the first opportunity.
She added: “The defendant entered the store and is seen on CCTV.
“She places candles and wax melts in a bag and walks to the exit, where she was stopped by security. All the items were recovered.”
Donaldson committed the knife crime in July 2020, arming herself in the belief her house was at threat of being burgled by two men.
David Forrester, defending, said: “The bladed article was in relation to people coming into her property.
“She’s a young lady with one child and has suffered because the father was murdered.
“She became involved in a relationship in June 2020 which became coercive.
“There wasn’t physical abuse, but she was told that she shouldn’t work and that her Universal Credit should be paid into his bank account.
“That happened around the time she committed this offence. She broke free of the relationship but didn’t have any money.
“She was at the end of her tether. She just picked up some candles. This was an impulsive offence.
“The positives are that she now has her own flat and has started work.”
Magistrates fined Donaldson £66 for breaching the suspended sentence, which they declined to activate.
They also fined her the same amount for the theft, with £85 court costs and a £100 victim surcharge.