‘Sad’ life of Honiton shoplifter

Depressed thief had ‘no motive’ for crimes, court told.

A shoplifter, who targeted shops in Honiton, was suffering from depression when she committed the offences, a court heard.

Joanne Marie Payne-Jones, of Mantle Street, Wellington, pleaded guilty to four separate counts of shoplifting in Honiton when she appeared at Central Devon Magistrates’ Court last Tuesday.

The court heard that, between September 6 and November 10, the 40-year-old stole two jumpers, valued at �25, from Store 21 in Lace Walk and a �50 bottle of perfume belonging to Boots in High Street.

These items were later recovered.

In addition, she stole a �70.50 bottle of perfume from Boots and three umbrellas belonging to the British Heart Foundation charity shop on November 17, which were not recovered.

Peter Woodley, defending, said: “We are dealing with someone who does not have a motive for stealing these items.

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“She is very sad and isolated and suffers from depression and Crohn’s disease.”

He also told the court that Payne-Jones had lost a child seven years ago and had been able to cope with her depression when she was working, but was now unable to work due to her Crohn’s disease.

As a result of this, she was spending more time on her own and, as Mr Woodley described, “things were becoming difficult for her”.

The court heard that Payne-Jones has now been referred to an emotional health and wellbeing group by her doctor.

She was given a conditional discharge for 12 months and ordered to pay �75 compensation to Boots and Store 21 for the items that were not recovered.

The chairman of the bench, Sheila Rumsby, said: “We have decided not to punish you for these offences - we are going to give you a conditional discharge, provided that you stay out of trouble for 12 months.”