A MOTHER whose criminal record saw her lose her prospective job turned to shoplifting to get money for her family, a court has heard.

Sarah Thompson had been due to start work at a sandwich shop in Darlington, magistrates in Newton Aycliffe were told.

But when her employer found out about her criminal record the offer was withdrawn leaving her with no money or benefits, the court heard.

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Prosecutor Blair Martin said the 27-year-old of Powlett Street in Darlington was spotted on CCTV stealing toiletries worth a total of £49.17 from Boots in the town on May 3 and 7.

He said she placed the items on a pushchair before leaving the store.

Callum Terry representing Thompson said she resorted to the shoplifting to get money for her and her 18-month-old son.

He said she had already come off her benefits to start the job when the offer was rescinded.

The court heard she has a history of offending including shoplifting.

Mr Terry said: “She is trying to sort herself out.”

Thompson, who admitted two charges of theft, is working with the probation service, the court heard, and an officer said: “If she could only get a job and sort herself out her offending would reduce.”

Magistrates commended Thompson on her efforts to turn her life around and gave her a six month conditional discharge.

She was also ordered to pay £49.17 compensation and a £25 victim surcharge.