Pregnant woman jailed for theft from Primark in Norwich

A seven months' pregnant woman has been jailed for four weeks for shoplifting.

Wendy Allen was stopped by security guards as she left Primark in Norwich and was found to have eight items of clothing in her bag, totalling �19.80.

The offence put the 41-year-old, of Buttermere Road, Earlham, in breach of a suspended sentence dating to December 2010 – for the second time. She pleaded guilty to one charge of theft from a shop when she appeared at Norwich Magistrates' Court yesterday, and admitted the breach of the suspended sentence order.

Prosecutor Judith Piggin told the court store detectives saw Allen putting items into a Primark bag before leaving the Haymarket shop without paying.

She said the theft was 'an unsophisticated offence which is aggravated by the breach'.

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Allen had previously breached the 16-week suspended sentence order in July 2011, when she committed two offences of common assault and one of criminal damage. Magistrates on that occasion chose not to invoke the sentence but extend the order by six months, and give her 40 hours of unpaid work.

Dave Foulkes, mitigating, said Allen 'was not having a good times of things' and had had 'significant' alcohol problems in the past.

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'She is at a loss as to why she committed the offence,' he added, describing the theft as 'foolish'.

He said social services had told Allen her unborn child would be taken into care immediately.

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