Jewellery thief 'unaware she had shoplifted' after having fit
A WOMAN who stole jewellery from a shop was unaware what she was doing after suffering an epileptic fit, a court heard.
Meta Jo Maguire, aged 39, who drinks heavily and uses heroin, was caught shoplifting from Claire's Accessories in Drake Circus, Plymouth Magistrates' Court was told.
She admitted theft of jewellery worth £162 on May 11.
Maguire, of Budshead Road, Whitleigh, also admitted failing to answer bail at Charles Cross police station on May 18.
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District judge Nigel Hodkinson deferred sentence until September 3 after hearing she was trying to tackle her problems with probation officers and drug counsellors.
He said: "Your life is clearly a mess, but at least it appears someone is trying to help you."
Maguire will be expected to stay out of trouble, keep her current home, bring a doctor's note explaining her epilepsy and save £85 towards costs.
Zeenat Begum, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said Maguire was spotted in the store with a man at about 3pm.
She was seen to pick up jewellery and leave the shop without paying, but was arrested outside.
The court heard police then street-bailed her because they were concerned about her medical condition. But she failed to attend the police station a week later.
Probation officer Tim Carson said: "She has a history of offending linked to alcohol and drugs.
"On the day of the offence she had suffered an epileptic fit and said she was not aware of what she was doing."
He added she had used heroin and drank three litres of strong cider up to four times a week.
But Mr Carson said her worker at the counselling service Harbour was "cautiously optimistic" about her progress.