A shoplifter who stole steak and champagne in a string of thefts from stores in Mansfield and Skegby cracked jokes with a shop-owner minutes before stealing from her, a court has heard.
Claire Marsh, 28, of Smith Street, Mansfield, admitted four counts of theft when she appeared before magistrates on Wednesday.
The court heard she stole steak and champagne worth £65 from the Co-Op, in Skegby, and a dragon ornament worth £30 from Inspirations, in Mansfield, on September 3, meat worth £250 from Marks & Spencers on September 14, and toys, chocolate and alcohol worth £64 from B&M Bargains on September 22.
Neil Hollett, prosecuting, told the court that Marsh joked with the owner of Inspirations, on Church Street, about falling asleep and being vulnerable to shoplifters.
The owner of the shop became suspicious and followed Marsh, but decided she was a genuine customer.
Another couple came in and when the owner looked again Marsh was gone and a dragon ornament was missing.
“The ornament only cost £30,” said Mr Hollett, “but the owner wants Miss Marsh to know that money was taken directly from her pocket.”
David Grant, mitigating, said that just before her court appearance Marsh told him: “Of all the things I have done I feel worse about that because my father had a small business and it went bankrupt.”
He said she had a long record of shop thefts which briefly stopped when she had a child in 2008.
The court heard she used heroin and drank around three bottles of wine a day, but was about to start a methadone prescription and appeared motivated to address her drug use.
She was given a prison sentence of 30 days, suspended for six months, and ordered to pay compensation of £95 and a £115 victim surcharge.