14/08/2014 12:54 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Judge Spares Mum Jail Term After Baby Was Born In Custody

Pregnant Woman Pushing Cart

A mum-to-be who went on a purse-stealing spree when she was six months pregnant has been spared a jail sentence after giving birth while in custody.

Claire White, 34, and her boyfriend Timothy Myers, 41, stole purses from customers in the Hessle branch of Sainsbury's in May. The pair had also taken trainers and soft toys from other stores in the area, committing the crimes in order to feed their drug habits.

They were caught as ran across the supermarket's car park after Myers assaulted a security guard who tried to stop them.

After their arrest, the pair were bailed and re-arrested twice before their sentencing yesterday at Hull Crown Court.

The Hull Daily Mail reports that White – who had breached another suspended sentence for theft – entered a guilty plea to 11 charges of stealing.

The new mum was found to have kept a diary which revealed information about her crimes, including a 'to do' list where she noted the need to recover purses thrown into bushes.

Nigel Clive, prosecuting, told the court: "When police searched their house, they found other items, including shoes from Debenhams, teddy bears from the Early Learning Centre and Boots advantage cards."

Sentencing, judge Mark Berry told White: "It's been a difficult time with your baby being born in custody. If that's not punishment enough for these offences, I don't known what is. You haven't been able to look after your baby in prison and now he is in care. If you do not buck your ideas up, that is where he will stay."

The couple were handed 12-month community orders, with White being given 150 hours of unpaid work. Myers – who has not yet seen his baby - also has to complete a six-month drug rehabilitation course.