Alcoholic caught on CCTV taking iPhone from bar

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A Louth woman ‘opportunistically’ took a £500 mobile phone that she saw being charged in a town wine bar, a court has been told.

Leanne Josephine Chambers, 34, of Longleat Drive, admitted theft of the Apple i-Phone, when she appeared at Skegness Magistrates’ Court.

The court was told that the owner of the phone was in Oliver’s wine bar in Aswell Street and had plugged her phone into an electricity socket in order to charge it.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said she then left it while she went to the toilet but when she returned it was missing.

He said that at first she thought her partner or friends had taken it for a joke, but when she realised this was not the case, the bar’s CCTV images were looked at and Chambers was seen to have taken it.

Chambers was challenged about it but denied it but then, when told she had been seen on CCTV, she said she had taken it with her to an Indian restaurant opposite the wine bar, but enquiries there revealed this was not the case and she and her male companion then left the bar. Mr Clare said the phone had not been recovered.

Beris Brickles, mitigating, said that it had been a “spur of the moment, opportunistic theft” and that she and her partner had both been drunk.

He said that her partner had said he was short of money and had taken all the proceeds of the sale of the phone and she had made nothing from it. He said she had no previous criminal convictions but was alcohol dependent and receiving voluntary help from Addaction.

The magistrates imposed a stand alone compensation order of £499 and ordered her to pay £30 costs.