Children’s jeans were stolen from a town centre shop by a mother with a knife in her handbag.
Helen Wesson, 30, whose address cannot be published for legal reasons but who formerly lived in Commercial Road, Grantham, was seen acting suspiciously on CCTV in Matalan in Dysart Road, Grantham.
As she left the store she was stopped and searched and the jeans were found.
The knife came to light when Wesson was taken to Grantham police station. When officers said they were to search her handbag, Wesson warned them there was a knife inside.
Rory Macmillan, defending, said the knife was put into her bag by her former partner earlier that day and forgotten about.
He added: “She was released from prison in October 2007 and has not committed and offence since then.
“She feels she has let herself down badly. It was a very poor choice and one she will ne be repeating.”
Wesson admitted theft and possession of a bladed article. She was sentenced to an 18-month conditional discharge and must pay a £15 surcharge.
Chairman of magistrates Mr Stewart said: “If you commit another crime this will come out again and bite you.”