Retford mum pressured by partner’s drug debt into shoplifting

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court

A Bassetlaw mum-of-four who who stole booze and meat from stores in Retford was under pressure to pay off a drug debt run up by her jailed partner, a court has heard.

CCTV cameras caught Shelley Wellman stealing a total of £324 from Morrisons and £337 from Asda, between May 11 and June 24, said prosecutor Robert Carr.

Wellman, 37, of Rufford Avenue, Retford, admitted eight counts of theft when she appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court, on Thursday.

Michael Little, mitigating, said: “These offences are peculiar in that she has no issues with drugs or alcohol. She was acting under duress.

”Her long term partner of 14 years was last year sent to prison and left a £4,000 plus drug debt. Eventually the people he owed the drug debt to have come calling on Miss Wellman.”

He said that Wellman, who has children aged 17, 15, ten and three, received “serious threats”, including having her home burned down.

“The police were informed and a quick response panic alarm was placed in her flat,” said Mr Little.

“She needed money quickly in order to pay these debts. They are items which can easily and readily be sold on and the money has been paid to the debt.”

After her arrest on June 25, Wellman also stole four bottles of spirits, worth £90, from Morrisons, on July 3. She admitted the offence on July 8, and told police one small payment was needed.

“She said: “I won’t be doing this again.”” said Mr Little.

The bench accepted she had been in a “difficult situation” and fined her £80 and ordered her to repay what she stole to the stores.