Woman turned to theft after benefit payment delay

Cambridge Magistrates Court

Cambridge Magistrates Court - Credit: Archant

A woman who turned to theft after she stopped receiving disability allowance has been handed a conditional discharge.

Chantelle Bailey, of Grove Lane, in Hemingford Grey, pleaded guilty to a count of theft, after she stole a television from Tesco, in Ely.

On January 9, Bailey went to the store and walked out with the television, which she later sold.

Paul Brown, prosecuting, told Cambridge Magistrates’ Court that Bailey sold the stolen item for £100, and it was not recovered by police.

In mitigation, Simon Rice said the 18-year-old was under instruction from a man to steal the television, who was also in the shop with her.


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“This offence occurred after her benefits had stopped, she has quite a significant disability to her hip,” Mr Rice added.

Bailey was on the disability living allowance but, following the move to the personal living allowance, problems had occurred which had left her without her benefits.

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Mr Rice said: “Ms Bailey has no money whatsoever. The reason that this has happened is down to a genuine necessity for herself – something that was necessary at the time.”

On April 28, Bailey was ordered to pay Tesco the value of the television, total-ling £229.

In sentencing, Phil King, chairman of the bench, said: “It is not fair that shops should be out of pocket through theft.”

She was also handed a 12-month conditional discharge, which magistrates said

was due to her co-operation with police and her early guilty plea.

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