Mother could not remember stealing spree
A SINGLE mother who went on a theft spree in Barnstaple town centre has said she cannot remember taking the items.
Pixie Strange, of West Challacombe Lane, Ilfracombe, pleaded guilty to four charges of theft at North Devon Magistrates' Court on Friday.
The 38-year-old stole items including slimming pills worth £109.96 from Holland and Barrett, carb control tablets from Boots worth £50, stationery from WH Smith worth £29.20 and clothing from Fat Face worth £43.
Three other theft charges on the same day were taken into consideration by magistrates, but Strange said she could not remember committing them, although it "looked likely".
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Karen Ball, for the defence, told the court how a member of staff at Holland and Barrett had seen Strange putting slimming pills into her handbag.
When police arrived at the shop, they searched Strange and found the other items, none of which she had receipts for.
Laurence Overend, for the defence, said the 38-year-old had suffered from anxiety and bipolar disorder since she was 18.
He told the court how his client took a "cocktail of medication" because of her mental health, and was currently taking 17 tablets a day.
He said: "The day before this incident her medication was slightly tweaked which had affected her thinking and substantially altered her behaviour pattern.
"This incident was the result of a delicate mental health issue."
Presiding magistrate Linda Houlfield said the court had stepped outside their usual guidelines when sentencing this case due to Strange's mental health problems.
Strange was given an 18-month conditional discharge, and was ordered to pay £15 victim surcharge, and £40 in court costs.