A Wellingborough woman wept in the dock as she was spared a prison sentence for shoplifting.
Rebecca Kidman, 34, of Eskdale Close, appeared at Northampton Crown Court on Friday, August 1, charged with stealing a £39 bottle of Boss aftershave from the town’s Boots store in April.
She pleaded guilty to the offence.
However, the court heard that in November last year Kidman had been handed a suspended prison sentence for a robbery in Wellingborough where she had threatened to stab a woman in front of her four-year-old child.
The shoplifting offence activated the suspended sentence.
Kidman had even brought packed bags to court, expecting to go to prison.
But Recorder Ciaran Rankin told Kidman he had read reports saying she was making good progress in beating heroin and cocaine addiction and that he was giving her a community sentence instead.
The court had heard that Kidman had gone into Boots in April and had taken two bottles of aftershave off a shelf.
She returned one of them to a shop assistant but CCTV showed her hiding the other in a bag.
She was stopped outside the shop and verbally abused members of staff – claiming she had intended to pay for the aftershave.
The court was told how in 2013, Kidman robbed a young mum of her purse and threatened to stab her.
The victim was in Olympic Way in Wellingborough with her four-year-old child when Kidman deliberately bumped into her, knocking her purse from her hand.
When she bent down to retrieve it Kidman told the victim to watch her child and warned her she was carrying a knife. The purse contained £3 in cash as well as bank cards and a driving licence.
The robbery and shoplifting offences were Kidman’s only criminal records.
Recorder Rankin said: “I am not minimising the offences you have committed.
“You thought you were going to prison today, and you have come very close to doing so. The robbery was a nasty, mean offence in the presence of a young child. You are making good progress in beating your addiction and meeting all your requirements.”
Kidman was given a six-month supervision order for both offences.