Two thieves who were allegedly bullied into shoplifting in Chesterfield town centre are to be monitored by police to help protect them.
Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on April 3 how Maxwell Cocking, 41, and Emma Walton, 35, both of Prospect Terrace, at Brockwell, Chesterfield, stole items from Curious Goods, on The Shambles, and perfume from The Fragrance Shop, on The Pavements.
Prosecuting solicitor Rosanna McDaid said: “Two shop thefts were committed by the defendants. They came into Chesterfield town centre and visited the Curious Goods shop and both started selecting goods and placed them in their pockets amounting to £37.64 between them.
“They went to the Fragrance Shop and Maxwell started speaking to the manager to distract her while Emma removed a tag from a perfume bottle valued at £164.
“Maxwell positioned himself to prevent her from being seen.”
The couple had been captured on CCTV at Curious Goods after the thefts, according to Miss McDaid.
Cocking admitted both thefts to the police but said he had been pressured by another man to commit the offences on January 5.
Walton told police she had stolen gems from the Curious Goods shop for her children.
Defence solicitor Denney Lau said Cocking and Walton are vulnerable people who have been used and pressured by others and that was why they had committed these crimes.
He added: “Police have assisted them in terms of their vulnerability and if they come into the town centre the police will talk to them to make sure they are not being followed or bullied.”
Cocking pleaded guilty to stealing Tarot cards and a pewter, pentagram candle-holder valued at £29.24 from Curious Goods and admitted jointly stealing perfume valued at £164 from the Fragrance Shop.
Walton pleaded guilty to gem treasure pouches from Curious Goods valued at £8.40 and admitted jointly stealing the perfume from the Fragrance Shop.
She also admitted breaching a conditional discharge order which had been imposed for a previous theft.
Magistrates fined Walton £40 and ordered her to pay £90.40 in compensation, and Cocking was ordered to pay £111.24 in compensation.