A shoplifter described as an “educated woman” was desperate for help and had stolen from two Falmouth shops to draw attention to herself, Truro magistrates heard.

Kathryn Lockley-Brown, aged 25, of The Beacon, Falmouth, pleaded guilty to stealing cosmetics worth £46.93 from Boots and clothes worth £29.98 from New Look. She had previous convictions.

Polly Morley, her solicitor, said hers was a sad case. She had moved to Cornwall in a relationship which then went sour and she was subjected to violent and mental abuse from her boyfriend, having to flee from him.

Since then she had been struggling with depression and finance and was using alcohol as a crutch.

An educated woman, she had committed the two offences as a cry for help as she had many issues that needed addressing and she was desperate to be helped.

The case was adjourned to April 1 for reports.