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Kleptomaniac steals when stressed

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A kleptomaniac who can't get help stole clothing and food to the tune of more than £80 from Tesco, a court heard.

Carole Dickson was caught after a store detective saw her load up a small trolley and then leave the store without paying in Burnley. The goods, which Dickson said she was going to take home, were recovered.

The town's magistrates were told how Dickson, who has now racked up over 20 offences, had been referred to the community mental health team by her GP, but they said they were not able to assist her as she was not suicidal.

The 54-year-old, who lives with her pensioner husband, has now been left to battle her compulsion to steal on her own and continues to shoplift.

The hearing was told the defendant has 23 previous offences and in March was given a 12-month conditional discharge for helping herself to clothing worth £184 from Marks and Spencer.

Dickson's solicitor Mr Philip Turner said she had been diagnosed as suffering from kleptomania some time ago by a hospital.

Mr Turner continued: "She tells me that one of the triggers is stress and on the date of the current offence, she was extremely stressed. Her father had died earlier this year and they were experiencing problems dealing with his estate."

"She didn't plan to steal. At some stage, she realised both her purse and mobile telephone were at home. She waited with the staff for the police to arrive."

Dickson, of Cross Hills, Padiham, admitted theft of the £81.30 items on August 23rd. She was fined £80 and must pay a £30 victim surcharge and £85 costs.