A JUDGE said a woman used a baby as a "decoy" after stealing items from Tesco in Crumlin and placing them underneath a blanket in a pram.
District Judge Nigel Broderick was speaking at Ballymena Magistrates' Court where Chloe Waite admitted stealing items including a vacuum cleaner and beer worth a total of £92 from Tesco in Crumlin on September 11 last year.
The defendant (24) is formerly of Willow Court in Dunmurry but now of Carncoole House in Newtownabbey.
A prosecutor said the defendant was pushing a baby in a pram and placed items in the pram undercarriage and "also under a blanket with the baby".
She then attempted to leave without paying but was stopped by security.
A defence lawyer said there had been an "element of desperation" to the theft and the defendant was embarrassed by what happened.
Judge Broderick said at the time of the offence the defendant was on bail for another matter.
He added: "There was a child used as a decoy to commit this offence and that is an aggravating feature".
The judge said he recognised the defendant had "difficulties" but that was no excuse to steal.
The defendant was given a two months prison term, suspended for a year.