Thief seeks professional help to halt her shoplifting
3:13pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
A former Penygroes woman has sought the help of a psychologist in a bid to discover why she shoplifts, a court has been told.
Nicola Michelle Thomas, previously of Gordon Terrace, appeared before Llanelli magistrates to admit stealing a £4.99 bottle of wine from Ammanford Co-op on August 28.
Gerald Neave, prosecuting, told the court how the 36-year-old was spotted by staff monitoring in-store CCTV cameras placing a bottle of the Rose wine in her bag and walking out without paying.
When she was challenged outside the store, Thomas, who has recently returned to live with her father at Nantgaredig, admitted the theft.
When interviewed by police, Thomas admitted she had gone to the shop planning to steal.
“She said she was short of money and it was her intention to go to the store to get the wine,” said Mr Neave.
“I walked up, took the wine and walked out,” she told police.
Magistrates were told that Thomas has one previous conviction – for shoplifting a bottle of alcohol in 2010.
Peter Martin, defending, told the court that Thomas struggled to understand why she had committed the thefts.
“She is somewhat at a loss to explain why she has done this before and why she has done it again,” said Mr Martin.
“She was stressed and there have been some family difficulties in her life recently - including a bereavement, but she can find no logic to what she did – nor what she did back in 2010.”
He said Thomas had been so concerned by her actions that she had now sought professional help.
“She is a young woman who is taking steps to find out why she has done what she has done,” said Mr Martin.
“She is seeing a psychologist to find out what has led her to do this sort of thing.”
Magistrates agreed to grant Thomas a 12-month conditional discharge.
“The court has taken a lenient view this time because you appear to be making efforts to find out what is going on,” magistrates told her.
She was also ordered to pay £85 court costs and a £15 legal surcharge.