Bereaved aunt stole Lidl steaks

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A middle-aged woman went out shoplifting after her niece died, Burnley magistrates heard.

The court was told Jeanette Austin (55) stole steaks worth £37.84 from Lidl in Burnley. She was in breach of a suspended jail term, imposed in January for a similar offence. Austin, who put the meat in a carrier bag and walked out of the store, told police she made a mistake and was sorry.

The defendant, of Leeds Road, Nelson, admitted theft on March 31st. She had 12 previous offences of theft on her record. Austin was fined £80, with £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.

Mark Williams, defending, said Austin had been experiencing difficulties of late and had some personal problems.

Her niece had died, she was on medication for depression and back pain and was short of money.

The defendant was on employment and support allowance. The solicitor added: “She apologises.”