Struggling Burnley mum-of-two admitted she was stealing gifts for Christmas

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A hard-up single mum stole Christmas presents worth almost £500 from Burnley Boots, a court heard.

Chloe Toomey (28), who has two children, removed security tags from high value perfume gift sets and electric toothbrushes. She struck at the store on three different days.

Mrs Alex Mann, prosecuting, told the town’s magistrates: "It doesn’t seem she was stopped on any of the occasions. She was identified on CCTV. None of the goods were recovered.”

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The prosecutor added: "She has been out of trouble for quite some time now. There are some shoplifting offences in the past, but she managed, it seems, to put that behind her. The last shoplifting offence was in 2014 and she has not been in court since 2016. We hope it’s a blip and not a return to type."

Burnley Magistrates' CourtBurnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court

Mr Geoff Ireland, defending Toomey, said: "The offences were committed because of financial difficulties at that particular time. She has had a drugs problem in the past, but has now overcome that.”

The solicitor continued: "Her benefits had been reduced during the Christmas period. She had taken out some loans, which meant her money had gone down and unfortunately, she decided to go shoplifting."

“She took these goods specifically for Christmas presents. She was frank with police and admitted her guilt. She has seemingly turned her life around."

The defendant, of Cedar Street, Burnley, admitted three counts of theft, last December 7th, 18th and 20th. She was given a 12-month conditional discharge and must pay £498 compensation.