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Woman sentenced after stealing purse from a pushchair in toy shop

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A WOMAN who stole a purse containing £500 from a child’s pushchair while the mother was looking at items in a toy shop has been sentenced in the Magistrate’s Court.

Picture: ROB CURRIE. (24945995)

Maureen Ann Fagan (62), of Brighton Close, committed the offence in the Entertainer toy store in St Helier last year and was ordered to carry out 50 hours of community service and pay £825 to the victim in compensation.

She previously admitted an offence of larceny and was told by the Magistrate, Bridget Shaw, that she could have been jailed for the crime.

‘This is a very unpleasant crime. People in Jersey live in an area where there is low crime and you don’t have to keep an eye on your possessions at all times,’ Mrs Shaw said.

‘This is not the inner city where this crime is expected. People don’t expect to have their handbag or purse stolen when they go into a toy shop.’

Centenier David Curtis described how, at 10.10am on 24 November, Fagan went into the shop in Bath Street and removed the purse from the pram.

He told the court that when the victim turned around just seconds later her purse had gone, so she reported the theft to staff, who checked CCTV and saw that Fagan had taken the item.

She was tracked down and arrested. She told officers: ‘I want to come clean – I can tell you I did it.’

Fagan admitted taking the purse, removing the money and then dumping the purse in a bin at Halkett Place, before using the money to buy alcohol.

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The victim told police that the purse contained £500 in cash, along with identification, bank cards and a child’s passport.

Centenier Curtis added that the victim had suffered a panic attack after the incident occurred.

Advocate James Bell, defending, said his client wanted to ‘sincerely apologise’ for her actions and that she was remorseful.

He added that she had been co-operative with the States police and should be given credit for early guilty pleas.

He also explained she had suffered a number of health issues and had recently been to Southampton for an operation.

Mrs Shaw said the offence had crossed the custody threshold, but instead ordered Fagan to carry out community service and pay the victim compensation.

Ian Heath

By Ian Heath
author

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