Mum is shown mercy by magistrates

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A Mansfield mum has been given a suspended prison sentence after admitting stealing a handbag and a pair of shoes in a town nightspot.

Magistrates were told how Emma Crowder (31), of Austin Close, was caught on CCTV picking up a handbag when a bouncer who had been asked to look after it left his post.

Robert Parr, prosecuting, told Mansfield Magistrates’ Court how the handbag was recovered at Illusions nightclub but £30 from inside was not.

He added: “Ms Crowder was shown the CCTV footage and could not remember the incident but accepted it was her.

“When she was searched a small amount of cannabis was found and she accepted that was hers.”

Elizabeth Rees, defending, said Crowder recollected very little due to the amount of alcohol she had consumed.

She added: “There is no suggestion she took possession of the contents but merely passed it to someone else.”

Ms Rees said the theft was unplanned and had been committed when Crowder saw the bag unattended.

“Ms Crowder began drinking heavily after the removal of her children three years ago,” said Ms Rees.

“The excess of her binge drinking has significantly reduced but she uses alcohol as an emotional crutch.”

Ms Rees said Crowder was eager to change and regain custody of her children.

Crowder was given a 12-week sentence suspended for 12 months and ordered to undertake six alcohol awareness sessions.

She was also ordered to pay £30 compensation and an £80 victim surcharge.