Cash-strapped thief stole goods after struggling with benefits

B&M Bargains, at Ravenside Retail Park, on Chartsworth Road, Chesterfield.
B&M Bargains, at Ravenside Retail Park, on Chartsworth Road, Chesterfield.

A desperate thief stole various goods from a B&M Bargains store in Chesterfield after she was struggling with her welfare benefits.

Amey-Lou Duggins, 25, of Howells Place, Mastin Moor, Chesterfield, was stopped trying to walk out of the store on Ravenside Retail Park, on Chatsworth Road, with £93.15 worth of goods, according to a Chesterfield magistrates’ court hearing on Wednesday, June 30.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “She was in the B&M store when she was spotted by members of staff who saw her putting items into her bag and walking past the tills to the exit door when she was stopped.

“She was spoken to in the store’s security office and the goods were recovered from her bag and she was taken to the police station where she replied no comment to all questions.”

Duggins pleaded guilty to stealing the goods after the incident on May 2.

The defendant is still subject to a community order which included rehabilitation and a curfew after she was sentenced in January for a previous shoplifting offence.

Defence solicitor Kirsty Sargent explained that Duggins had been shoplifting in January to feed a crack-cocaine habit but had committed her latest offence because she was struggling with her benefits.

Ms Sargent added that Duggins has had serious health concerns but she has the help and support of her mother.

Magistrates ordered that her existing community order should continue but also imposed a new 12 month community order with 100 hours of unpaid work.

Duggins was also ordered to pay an £85 victim surcharge.