Shoplifter claims she stole to try and return to Poland to see dying mother

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A desperate thief claimed she resorted to stealing in an effort to get money to return to Poland because her mother was dying.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on October 9 how Anna Meszynska, 39, of Welbeck Street, Whitwell, admitted stealing a Philips razor from Boots, in Mansfield, and admitted stealing items from Sports Direct, in Shirebrook.

Prosecuting solicitor Robert Carr said: “The first offence was at Boots, at St Peter’s Retail Park, and she was seen on CCTV taking a Philips razor and she was recognised by the security staff.

“She was interviewed and admitted the offence and she said she had stolen items to get a new passport and plane tickets for her and her daughter to go home to Poland.”

Mr Carr added that Meszynska was also seen by staff a day later at Sports Direct, in Shirebrook, acting suspiciously and as she left she activated a security alarm.

Meszynska was found with stolen clothing, according to Mr Carr, as well as a foil-lined bag which thieves use to disarm security tag systems.

The defendant, who has previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the two thefts from October 6 and 7 and admitted going equipped with a foil-lined bag. She also admitted failing to comply with a previously imposed community order.

Defence solicitor Karina Lyon said Meszynska has engaged well under her community order but she has undergone significant trauma with child custody issues and the loss of her mother.

Ms Lyon added: “She has been trying to get money to go back to Poland and she was aware her mother was dying and she did not have sufficient funds but she never got to say goodbye to her.”

Meszynska has also not been receiving financial support, according to Ms Lyon, because she has been under-going an assessment for Universal Credit and she has had no income.

District Judge Andrew Davison told Meszynska: “You have had an extremely sad catalogue of events which no one should have to go through at such a young age and I have some sympathy.”

But District Judge Davison added that regrettably Meszynska had breached her community order by failing to attend appointments and she had gone on to commit offences.

He said: “I was seriously considering a custodial sentence, however I have moved back from custody and moved into the community penalty band.”

But District Judge Davison warned Meszynska that if she commits any offences in the future she will be sent to prison for months.

Meszynska’s original community order was revoked and she was sentenced to a new 12 month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement and a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement.

She was also ordered to pay £74.99 compensation.