A MUM who had slipped back into heroin use following a bereavement, stole over £100 worth of Yankee candles from a city shop because she was “struggling with money”.

Lisa Smith had taken the items from B&M in St Martin’s Gate to “buy some food” after her benefits were cut, her solicitor told magistrates yesterday.

The 44-year-old is currently working alongside the Citizens Advice Bureau after her Employment and Support Allowance was cut to £152 a fortnight, said solicitor Sumreen Afsar.

Smith also supports her 28-year-old son, who has special needs and lives with her full-time in a three-bedroom home she is attempting to downsize to cut costs as she already spends £74 a week on bills.

Ms Afsar told the court her client, of Larch Road, had kicked a heroin addiction 16 years ago but fell back into her old ways following a death but is now self-medicating with Subutex, bought off the street.

Shaquat Reaz, prosecuting, said the police received a call from B&M security staff at 1.42pm on July 25 who had detained the defendant after she tried leaving the store without paying for the candles.

A police officer attended the store and saw CCTV showing Smith taking “a number of candles and concealing them in her bag” before leaving and getting detained outside.

Mr Reaz said she has several previous convictions on her record, the last being a theft in 2017.

Ms Afsar went on to say her client is now using food vouchers, adding she “has difficulties” but she is "now getting the right support”.

CAB have informed her her son should be able to claim Universal Credit.

Chair of the bench Brent Robinson gave Smith a six-month community order, including a Drug Rehabilitation Requirement.