Desperate thief snatched handbags from three elderly women

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A desperate thief snatched handbags from three elderly women as they were out shopping.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on Tuesday, August 1, how Lisa Marie Baker, 38, of Cross Street, Fairfield, Buxton, targeted two elderly women in Buxton at a Waitrose store, at Spring Gardens Centre, and a third woman at an Aldi store, on Station Road, in the town.

Prosecuting solicitor Becky Allsop said: “They had their bags on top of their shopping or behind their shopping and they discovered the bags had gone missing and they were never recovered and distress was caused.

“A still image was taken from CCTV and a media appeal was launched and Baker was spoken to by police on July 18.”

Mrs Allsop added that Baker took the handbags and threw them in bins in the Buxton area and she claimed she had not taken cash or anything from inside the handbags and added that she has mental health problems.

Baker pleaded guilty to stealing an Envy handbag and contents on June 5 and another handbag on June 12, at Waitrose, and admitted stealing a brown leather handbag at the Aldi on June 12.

Defence solicitor Annis Rowlands said the defendant is otherwise of exemplary good character who bizarrely took these handbags and contents.

Ms Rowlands stressed the motivation and rational behind the offences is complicated.

She added: “She is hugely remorseful and has suffered greatly as a consequence and has a great deal of mitigation to put forward with mental health issues for which she is now engaging with a practice nurse.”

Magistrates adjourned the case to consider a probation service report before sentencing Baker to a 12 month conditional discharge.

Baker was also ordered to pay £550 in compensation.