A mother stole 17 packets of batteries to sell on to put money in her electricity and gas meters.
Jodie Guy, 28, of Wilks Road, Grantham, admitted stealing the batteries from the Co-op store on Dysart Road on March 7.
Prosecuting, Tracey Ross said Guy had gone into the store at 6.45pm and took £100 worth of batteries which she put into her pushchair. She then went to the counter to buy tobacco before leaving the store. The batteries were not recovered and Guy was caught on CCTV.
Guy admitted the theft to police and told them that she needed money for the meter and for her children aged two and five.
The court was told that Guy had served a 16 week prison sentence for shop theft.
Defending, Chris Pye-Smith said Guy had received £1 for each of the 17 packets of batteries.
She admitted stealing £68 worth of batteries. In January she was released from prison after serving five weeks and the only benefit she received until March 16 was child benefit which amounted to £33 per week. This was her only income for eight weeks. Mr Pye-Smith said her income was so low that the primary school gave her vouchers for the Foodbank.
Mr Pye-Smith said: “She is sorry she did it but she was desperate at the time. This was an offence brought about by desperate financial circumstances.”
Magistrates handed Guy a 12 month conditional discharge and ordered her to pay compensation of £68 and a victim surcharge of £15.