Woman (55) said shoplifting incidents happened as she wanted to ‘lift her mood’

A 55-year-old woman caught shoplifting at two premises in Coleraine claimed she had been trying to “lift her mood”.

Patricia Buckley, or Craigavon Terrace in Coleraine, was caught at Millburn Spar last November and Savers on December 14 last year.

At Coleraine Magistrates Court  she pleaded guilty to two charges of theft.

Groceries worth £36 were taken in the first incident and cosmetics worth £94 from Savers.

The court was told “two middle-aged females” had been at the Spar and at Savers the defendant had been accompanied by a “friend”.

The court heard that when interviewed Buckley admitted the thefts.

She had been “through a tough time” and thought what she was doing would help “lift her mood”.

The defendant had a record but had been out of trouble, according to a defence solicitor, “for a long time”.

The lawyer said at the time of the latest incidents “matters came to a head in her life”.

District Judge Peter King said the defendant had a “number of brushes with the law” in the past.

Regarding the latest incidents, the judge said he was “at a loss” to work out why it had happened and said the defendant was “always going to get caught”.

In such cases there are often “underlying issues behind the offending,” Judge King said.

He said he was concerned about what had been motivating the defendant and said if the defendant was back in court for similar offences he would order a pre-sentence report.

The defendant was fined £200.

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