A YOUNG mum who was working in a Carlisle city centre store helped a young man she knew to steal clothes worth £130, a court heard.

Jaymie Leah Devlin, 29, committed the offence while she worked at the city's House of Fraser store.

At the city's Rickergate court, she entered a guilty plea to a single count of theft.

Magistrates heard how the defendant, of Croft Road, Brampton, was working at the store's tills on July 20 last year when a man she knew came into the store and selected various items of clothing, which he took to her at the till as if to buy them.

"He had three items with him," said Peter Kelly, prosecuting.

"Those three items were presented to her [at the till]."

Yet when security staff checked the CCTV images of the transaction, it was clear that while the man took all three items out of the store, he paid for only one.

When her shift finished, Devlin left the store and never returned.

She was later quizzed by police, and said it had been a nightmare day that had stressed her, prompting her to hand in her resignation.

The defendant claimed that what happened had been a genuine mistake.

Mr Kelly said the store had a policy which forbade staff to serve with whom they have any kind of friendship. He outlined how the defendant had previous convictions for dishonestly but nothing since 2006

John Smith, for Devlin, said House of Fraser managers had already recovered money from the defendant's last wage packet so that the store was not out of pocket.

The other person involved, he said, had been living with the defendant in Brampton but they had separated in October.

"There has been a significant amount of domestic violence between the two of them," said the lawyer.

"Police were called [to her home] on a number of occasions last year.

"She said he threw her down the stairs. She's now basically living there with her children but he is not there any more.

"At the time of this incident, she said she was talked into it by him."

Mr Smith accepted that there had been a breach of trust but he added that Devlin had no relevant recent convictions.

Magistrates accepted that the theft was low value and that Devlin was not acting alone so they agreed to limit the punishment to a fine of £120, with £85 costs, and a £30 victim surcharge.