A WOMAN claims she was forced to steal from her local shop in order to make enough money to by a bus pass so she could get to work.
Christine Laws, 43, stole food and toiletries worth £244 from the One Stop shop on Grindon Broadway, Sunderland magistrates heard.
Prosceutor Lee Poppett said Laws was seen on CCTV selecting a number of items from the shelves on two occasions last month, stashing them inside a carrier bag before leaving the store.
“She was unidentified from the footage and described how she was in perhaps dire straits financially.
“She said she had sold each of the items to buy a bus pass so she could get to work.”
Laws, of Holborn Road, Hylton Lane Estate, admitted two counts of theft.
Jason Smith, defending, said: “It is a rather sad tale. Christine has managed to get herself employment. She was moving away from benefits.
“She is on a zero-hour contract, so her income is up and down.
“She found herself in a very difficult position because she wants to go to work, she has taken the items to sell in order to get to work.”
Laws told police: “I feel very sorry for the staff in the store because I have got to know them over the years.”
She was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and was told to pay a £150 criminal court charge and £244 in compensation.