AN OPPORTUNIST thief was forced to face the music – after being caught on camera stealing a purse from a woman who was singing karaoke in a South Tyneside pub.
Dawn Potts snatched the purse from a bag belonging to a woman who was enjoying a Christmas night out in the Mechanics Arms, in East Street, South Shields.
The 43-year-old went into a pub toilet and took £75 from the purse – before putting it back in the bag.
When the victim notified staff the money was missing, they checked the in-house CCTV and found that Potts was still in the pub.
She had hidden the money in a cigarette packet.
Potts, of Canon Grove, Jarrow, admitted the theft when she appeared before South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday and was was fined £70 and ordered to pay court costs of £85 and a £20 victim surcharge.
The court heard she was “thoroughly ashamed” of what she did and apologised to the victim for her actions.
Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said: “A woman was on a Christmas night out on Monday, November 24, and had put about £90 in her purse for the night. She noticed money was missing and notified bar staff, who viewed CCTV and discovered the theft. Police were called.”
Rachel Mangenie, defending, said Potts had not been in trouble for 17 years until carrying out a shop theft in August, followed by this offence three months later.
She said: “She is thoroughly ashamed of herself. She has asked me to apologise to the complainant on her behalf.”