Vulnerable young Mansfield woman warned of prison for shop thefts

Tesco Extra, on Chesterfield Road South, Mansfield
Tesco Extra, on Chesterfield Road South, Mansfield

A vulnerable young woman who has been used by an "unsavoury group" to commit shop thefts in Mansfield, was warned she is heading for prison, a court heard.

Jessica Chance was detained after she took five jars of coffee, worth £30, from Tesco, on Chesterfield Road South, at 10pm, on February 13.

The theft put her in breach of a conditional discharge, imposed on February 3, for theft and going equipped to steal, said prosecutor Leanne Townshend.

Ian Pridham, mitigating, said Chance, 21, lives in supported accommodation, and has been diagnosed with autism, learning difficulties, and is due to visit a psychologist.

"The staff are concerned she is mixing with an unsavoury group who are clearly taking advantage of her," he said.

"She knows what sort of people they are, but she keeps gravitating back to them.

"If she keeps upping the ante like this, she knows where she will end up - and that's prison."

Chance, 21, of Sandfield Close, admitted theft, when she appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

District judge Leo Pyle told her: "Jessica Chance - look at that door there. That's the door to the cells. It's within my power to open it and send you down to the cells.

"That door will open if you go out and commit any further offences. Jim Bob couldn't give a stuff about you. That is you being used by other people.

"Now ignore them and concentrate on keeping that door shut."

He gave her a 12 month community order, with a 12 week, electronically monitored curfew, from 8pm to 7am, and 20 rehabilitation days.

She was ordered to pay £85 costs and an £85 government surcharge, which will be deducted from her benefits.