14/08/2014 16:53 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 10:12 BST

How Low Can You Go? Mum Caught On CCTV Stealing Charity Box In Front Of Five-Year-Old Son

Mum caught on CCTV stealing charity collection box in front of her five-year-old son

How about this this for a shocking example of how NOT to set an example to your children? This mother was caught red-handed on CCTV stealing a charity collection box in full view of her five-year-old son.

The woman, called Paula Barker, posed as a customer inquiring about help for her dad at a mobility aid store.

But when a staff member left her desk to get something from the back of the shop, Barker, 31, picked up a British Heart Foundation box and after shaking it to see how much it contained put the box into her handbag before walking out of the store.

But that was only the beginning. Just 15 minutes after committing the theft at The Eden Mobility store in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, she repeated the offence at nearby optician Dolland and Aitchison, taking an Action for Blind People charity box while her son was still with her.

Wakefield Magistrates Court heard that staff confronted her outside the store and asked to look in her white handbag.

Her son asked her: "Do you have to give it back?"

Barker told her child: "Yes, because I don't want to get arrested again."

John Heaton, senior manager at Eden Mobility, said: 'In my opinion stealing money that has been collected for charity is worse than stealing stock from the shop. It's a very callous thing to do."

The British Heart Foundation said the theft of their collection box was 'very sad'.

Barker, from Wakefield in West Yorkshire, admitted taking the charity boxes and stealing lager from a local supermarket on two occasions and shoplifting £75 worth of items from a chemist.

Her solicitor, Rob Fones, said: "She has had a problem with drugs. Alcohol has been an issue as well. She has something of a chaotic lifestyle."

Barker was sentenced to a 12-month community order with a 12-month drug treatment programme.