A 36-year-old single mum, accused of shoplifting in Bulwell, has eight children who have all been taken into care.
The plight of Anne Marie Curtis was disclosed by defending solicitor Amanda Parker when Curtis appeared at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court.
Miss Parker said “things had been extremely difficult” for Curtis “because she accepts she is an alcoholic.”
Also, she could not read or write very well and could barely write her own name.
“She is a single lady but has eight children, all of whom have been taken from her and put up for adoption,” Miss Parker added. “She has found it very hard to cope with this emotionally, and suffered a nervous breakdown last year.
“She self-medicates by taking alcohol, and both the offences she appears in court for happened when she was in drink.”
Curtis, of Cranmer Walk, Nottingham, pleaded guilty to two counts of shoplifting last year.
On Saturday 13th July, she stole gin, worth £9.65, from the Aldi store on Huntingdon Street in Nottingham. On Saturday 28th December, she stole meat and alcohol, worth £78.91, from Tesco Express on Jennison Street, Bulwell.
The court heard that, on both occasions, she made no attempt to pay for the items.
She tried to conceal the gin under her jacket, but was spotted by a store detective.
And at the Bulwell store, she simply walked past the payment points with her trolley full of goods, only to be stopped by a member of staff.
“They were unsophisticated offences,” continued Miss Parker. “She told police she needed some essential items because she had no money.”
The court heard that Curtis had a record for similar offences of theft and dishonesty dating back to 1998.
The chairman of the Bench agreed she needed support from the probation service, particularly with regard to her alcohol problems. The case was adjourned.