A MOTHER and daughter duo who tried to steal more than £400 of goods from an Amesbury supermarket said the idea to commit the crime came into their heads as they were halfway through their weekly shop.

Iona Langford, aged 39, and her daughter Bethan Ford, aged 21, both pleaded guilty to theft at Salisbury magistrates’ court on Friday.

Prosecuting, Keith Ballinger said the pair had been shopping using a self-scanning device in Tesco on February 3.

But they were seen on CCTV only scanning some items and putting them in their trolley, and putting other items in their bags. Mr Ballinger said they paid for some items at the till, but as they left the store’s alarms sounded and they were found to have just over £440 worth of items that had not been paid for.

When interviewed by police, Langford, of Holloway Close, Amesbury, said neither had entered the shop intending to steal the items, and Ford, of Hart Close, Wilton, said she felt “rubbish, and very angry at herself”.

Defending Ford, Matthew George said she was a single parent who is “struggling financially” and that her mum, Langford, “helps out”.

Defending Langford, Nick Redhead said she wanted “to draw a line under what is, for her, an extremely embarrassing case”.

“It’s not easy for Miss Ford financially, so naturally Mrs Langford helps her as much as she can,” he said.

“The thought of doing something dishonest or stealing had never entered either head.”

But Mr Redhead said Langford accepted that stealing had been “her idea”, adding: “She doesn’t know why, it was a stupid possibly an ultimately catastrophic decision.”

He said Langford works for “a prominent financial institution” and “the chances of her holding onto that job are not very good”.

Magistrate Simon Browning fined Langford, who smiled in the dock, £196, with £85 costs and a £30 victim surcharge.

He said: “As far as your daughter goes, because from what your solicitor said it was your idea, she was less responsible for the offence, and because of your position in the family we are going to impose a conditional discharge on her.”

Mr Browning told Ford, who sobbed throughout the sentencing: “You are not being punished today for this offence.”

Ford must pay £50 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.