Magistrates said actions of mum-of-four were ‘totally unacceptable’ after she gave children stolen goods to carry out of Tesco store.

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A BARNSTAPLE mum-of-four shoplifted items from Tesco when her children were present in a bid to help pay the bills, North Devon Magistrates’ Court heard on Friday.

Vicki Tymon, 31, of Middle Combe Drive, pleaded guilty to four offences of shoplifting from the Barnstaple store between November 19 and December 18.

Tymon said she became desperate since her husband was sent to prison in January last year, leaving her with thousands-of-pounds of debt.

The court heard she was caught on CCTV on November 19 selecting a kettle and placing it in the buggy with the empty box later found in store.

Another time she left her children in the café while she selected boxes of chocolates and then gave them to the youngsters to carry out of the store.

She was also charged with stealing an item of nightwear, a loaf of bread and washing powder by placing them in her buggy.

On December 18 she was caught by the in store detective with food and confectionary in her handbag but was bailed as she had her children with her at the time.

Nigel Treasaden, defending, said Tymon was ‘absolutely mortified’ by the fact her children had been there and couldn’t bear to watch the CCTV footage.

He said since being caught Tymon had contacted her family and her mother had now moved in with her to help with the children.

Magistrates ordered Tymon to pay £44 in compensation to Tesco, as well as paying a £15 victim surcharge, and to be subject to a one year conditional discharge.

Lead magistrate Robin Hagley said: “What alarms us more than anything else is that some occasions you had children with you.

“You even gave some of the stolen goods to the children to carry out of the store.

“We find this totally unacceptable for a mother to be doing this to her child.”

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