Pregnant woman went shoplifting to pay for her electricity bill

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A MOTHER-TO-BE stole face cream to pay for her electricity.

A court heard how Tanya Marie Bygate, from Washington, could not afford to top up her electricity key.

So she stole Nivea cream from Superdrug, in The Galleries, Washington.

Sunderland Magistrates’ Court was told that the 37-year-old refused to open her bag, and walked off when challenged by security staff.

But the theft, on July 17, was captured on CCTV and Bygate, of Stockley Road, Barmston, was arrested.

She pleaded guilty to one charge of theft when she appeared before city magistrates.

Paul Anderson, prosecuting, said Bygate stole a gift pack and other items worth £15, and had a previous conviction for handling stolen goods.

Gavin Sword, defending, said Bygate’s life had become “somewhat of a success story”, after she was released from prison in 2006, following 51 convictions.

He said: “She got her forklift truck driver’s licence, then volunteered to work at Tesco in Durham.

“It was initially three days a week, but she must have impressed them, because they took her on, on a full-time basis.

“Then there was a family event that caused her some problems, and they moved out of the area.

“She is now back in the Washington area, living with her partner and expecting a child.”

He added that the family had been struggling to cope on benefits and the couple were £40 a week worse off now they were living together.

Chairman on the bench John Scott gave Bygate a one-year conditional discharge.