Mother used buggy for shoplifting

A mother-of-three who used her baby's buggy to pilfer children's clothes from an Ipswich store is today behind bars.

IPSWICH: A mother-of-three who used her baby's buggy to pilfer children's clothes from an Ipswich store is today behind bars.

Sobbing Simona Dumitru collapsed in the dock after magistrates in Ipswich sentenced her to an eight-week jail term for stealing from Primark in Westgate Street.

The 20-year-old Romanian national, who pleaded guilty to theft, was spotted with another woman hanging dozens of items on the handle of her pram before making off without paying.

CCTV footage captured the Big Issue seller - whose family receives �800 a month in benefits - taking clothes worth an estimated �200.

The court heard the offence put her in breach of a suspended sentence handed down in January when she was convicted of procuring a child to beg.

Magistrates accused Dumitru, who listened to proceedings through an interpreter, of having a total disregard for court orders.

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Chairman of the bench Anthony Baker said the theft had been “organised with a degree of planning”.

He added: “There was the use of a child and a push chair and there were a large amount of goods involved.

“This offence is not dissimilar to the offence of procuring a child to beg which was the reason for the suspended sentence order.”

Dumitru, who moved to Ipswich in 2007, told the court she had stolen to clothe her children because money was short.

She was jailed for six weeks for the theft and two weeks for breaching the suspended sentence order, with the two terms to be served consecutively.

Are shoplifting laws tough enough? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk