A WOMAN found stealing from shops on several occasions, was sending up to £700 a month home to her native Lithuania in order to fund medication for her mother, a court has heard.
Irena Parsuto, 46, of Grove Street West admitted stealing a total of £294 worth of fragrances from the town's Oldrids store in Strait Bargate on two days in April, and also admitted breaching conditional discharges for three similar thefts from shops in August last year.
Beris Brickles, mitigating for Parsuto, said her motive had been purely financial as she was supporting her elderly parents in Lithuania.
He said her father was disabled and her mother had had to have an operation, but could not afford the medication, which is not free in Lithuania.
Parsuto was sending up to £700 a month home to fund her mother's treatment and to earn more money had been working up to 84 hours a week.
Mr Brickles said she had little money to buy food for herself and had committed these offences to sell the items to be able to buy her daughter a birthday present.
She was very concerned that any punishment might affect her ability to continue to work long hours.
The magistrates said that she had been warned last August that she would be punished for those offences as well as the new ones, if she offended again, and that as a result she had passed the custody threshold.
Telling her that this was her 'second and last chance', the magistrates sentenced Parusto to four weeks imprisonment, suspended for a year, and ordered her to pay £188 in compensation.