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Suspended jail for woman who filled Tesco trolley with goods worth £92 then decided not to pay

The district judge said: 'You have a miraculous record for acts of dishonesty and you still have not learnt that you can't go shopping without money'

Tesco store

A Portadown woman who told police she just decided not to pay for £92 worth of goods from a local store has been handed a suspended sentence.

The district judge told the 44-year-old: “This is a serious offence. You have a miraculous record for acts of dishonesty and you still have not learnt that you can’t go shopping without money.”

Lynette Devlin, of Westland Road, appeared for sentencing on theft at Craigavon Magistrates’ Court on Friday.

Prosecution outlined that on April 8, at around 10.30am, staff at Tesco in Meadow Lane, Portadown, observed the defendant place approximately £92 worth of goods in a trolley before leaving without paying.

Devlin came back to return the trolley but staff took note of the vehicle she had placed the items in.

Officers attended the address of the last registered owner of the vehicle and spoke to the defendant.

During interview, Devlin admitted to going to the store. She had the money to pay for the goods but whilst there decided she wasn’t going to pay for them.

Defence barrister Aaron Thompson stated: “Ms Devlin is a woman who has struggled with her mental health.”

District Judge Kelly said: “I am going to stop you right there. If everyone with mental health problems automatically became a criminal, I think that is unfair to others who suffer.

“She did this whilst on bail for appealing a prison sentence for exactly the same offence.”

She added: “At what juncture has she known, since 2007, that her mental health was causing her to commit offences of dishonesty and has she informed her GP?”

Mr Thompson stated: “She is dealing with it now. On the appeal she was handed a combination order and she has completed all the hours of community service order”.

District Judge Kelly said: “This is a serious offence. You have a miraculous record for acts of dishonesty and you still have not learnt that you can’t go shopping without money.”

Devlin was sentenced to six months in prison suspended for two years.

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