Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting CHNEWS to 80360, or email
Woman found guilty over theft of phone from Tesco
2:32pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
A woman with a fear of busy places pocketed a mobile phone left at the self service till at Skipton Tesco, magistrates heard.
Victoria Brown, 32, denied theft by finding at Skipton Magistrates Court on Monday and claimed she had meant to hand the phone in but had simply forgotten.
She had flown to Spain the following day and left it in the pocket of a coat she had been wearing at the time, the court heard.
The Blackberry phone was eventually returned to its teenage owner more than a week later, after police contacted Brown’s parents, but minus its zebra marked case and SIM card.
The court was told the owner of the phone, who cannot be named because of her age, had left it at the self service till on October 5, last year, while shopping with a friend.
She returned a few minutes later, saw Brown who was at the till with her father, and had asked Mr Brown if they had seen the phone.
The 14-year-old told the court David Brown had said no and that she and her friend had then gone to security staff who had contacted the police.
Brown was traced via her father’s store club card and eventually her parents contacted her in Spain when she remembered picking up the phone and putting it in her pocket.
Brown, who told the court she lived in Spain, but gave an address of Woodfield Drive, Bradley, had suffered from severe anxiety and depression for more than five years and was under medication.
She said she rarely went into supermarkets, but on October 5 had attempted to go shopping with her father following therapy.
Mr Brown told the court they had gone at a time when they believed the store would be quiet, but it had turned out to be busy and his daughter had wanted to leave.
He recalled being app-roached by two girls while waiting at the self service check-out and had thought they were asking him to buy alcohol, but he had been concerned about his daughter, and could not be sure.
Magistrates found Brown guilty, and said that they found the evidence of the two girls to be credible and that it had been backed up by CCTV footage. They said Brown had not been consistent in interview with the police and during her trial and there had been numerous occasions when she could have handed the phone in.
Brown, a woman of previous good character, was given a 12-month conditional discharge and ordered to pay costs of £620 and a victims surcharge of £15. She was also ordered to pay the owner of the phone £2 compensation for the loss of the case. The court heard the SIM card had been replaced.