A WREXHAM woman turned to shoplifting after getting into 'untenable debt' with her utility bills.

Carla Evans, of Y Wern, was produced in custody at Wrexham Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old admitted five counts of theft from shop - all of which took place in Wrexham between November 2023 and this month.

Prosecutor Rhian Jackson said the first offence took place on November 22 when she entered a Home Bargains store in Wrexham and made her way around the store, placing goods in a trolley.

She left that store with more than £330 worth of goods, having made no payment.

On November 30, she entered Sainsbury's and took alcohol, pyjamas and bedding worth over £220.

Then, on December 1, she attended Tesco - where she secreted items into bags and left without paying. The value of items taken there came to more than £360.

The fourth offence also took place on December 1, when she went to Sainsbury's and took air fresheners, Lego sets and alcohol worth just over £325.


And finally, on January 17, she entered a Co-op store and put over £30 worth of items in a basket before walking out with them.

On three of the occasions, Evans was accompanied by another female.

Ms Jackson said with that being the case, the Crown Prosecution Service sought half of the compensation value for the stolen items on those dates.

That brought the compensation total as far as Evans was concerned to around £700.

Ms Jackson added that the offence earlier this month put Evans in breach of a 12 month conditional discharge imposed by the court in December, also for theft.

After interviewing the defendant, a probation officer told the court: "She accepts full responsibility for her behaviour and said she feels ashamed.

"She was financially desperate at the time.

"The last offence was simply to feed her family."

The probation officer added Evans also struggles with her mental health.

Bethan Jones, defending, said her client had never troubled the courts before her conditional discharge was imposed in December.

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She said the thefts didn't arise out of a need to feed substance abuse - as the court hears on a regular basis.

"She had a large amount of debt to various utility bills," Ms Jones said.

"There was no 'untoward' debt.

"And of course this was two or three weeks before Christmas and she has more than one child.

"She understands this must never happen again and it's a hard lesson for her."

Ms Jones said her client found herself in an "untenable position" after getting into debt with "various people" she'd been borrowing money from "just to get by."

The court handed down a community order of 12 months with up to 15 days of rehabilitation activity and an eight-week electronically monitored curfew.

Given her financial difficulties had led to the offending in the first place, the court opted to order limited compensation of £20 against each of the five offences.

As the court wanted to prioritise the compensation, no costs or victim surcharge were imposed.

Evans must repay the total £100 compensation at a rate of £5 a week.