Shoplifting mum was trying to get money for kids' gifts
A MUM-OF-TWO has admitted shoplifting, saying she took the items to raise money for her children's Christmas presents.
Maria Thomas, 33, who appeared at Swansea Magistrates' Court, admitted a charge of theft and another of obstructing a police officer in their duty.
The court heard that Thomas, of Mysydd Terrace, Landore, was seen by an Asda security guard on November 8 to make her way through the checkout and only pay for some of the items of clothing in her trolley.
It later transpired that Thomas had stolen £95.98 of clothing from the Morriston store.
When she was stopped outside by the security guard and arrested, she gave officers a false name and date of birth, which she continued using at the police station.
Police, who became suspicious, checked her handbag and found documents which revealed her real name.
She said she had used the false name to speed up her time at the police station and was scared after recently receiving a fixed penalty notice and a caution for other offences.
Dan Heard, representing Thomas, said: "The reason the offences came about is that as the Christmas period approaches, she is short of cash and has two children."
He said she was a single mother after the death of her partner in May 2010.
"She's struggling emotionally and financially," he told magistrates.
Thomas was given a conditional discharge lasting 12 months.