A hard-up single mum, who took her two young children when she went shoplifting, left them in the car whilst she went back in the store, a court heard.
Rachel Plant had gone into B&M Retail at Colne at 12.30pm, selected food, clothing and cosmetics to the tune of £104, hid them in her bag and secreted them in the vehicle.
She then went back into the premises and staff, who had had been suspicious and had checked CCTV, tried to detain her as she left the second time. Plant returned a tea and coffee set, but refused to stay at the scene and left in her car with the rest of the haul.
Burnley magistrates were told CCTV was seized and police went to the defendant’s address and arrested her. She was interviewed later that day and said she was responsible for the theft.
Mrs Philippa White, prosecuting, said: "She stated she had left the second time because she had left her children in the car and didn’t want them to be left for very long.
"She admitted she had made no attempt to pay for any of the items.”
Plant, who is on benefits, has a record for theft.
Mr John Rusius, defending, said Plant also looked after two other children and had financial troubles. She found it difficult to manage.
He continued: " She was hard-up, struggling financially and took these items. The problem really started when her benefits were changed over to Universal Credit.
"She usually gets £1,400 a month, but only receives about £500. The rest disappears with various deductions.
Plant, of Napier Street, Nelson, admitted theft to the value of £104.83 on July 16th. She was ordered to pay £100 compensation.