A SHOPPER who realised her handbag was missing after she used the facilities to change her grandson's nappy later discovered her BMW had been taken from outside Oswaldtwistle Mills.

Blackburn magistrates heard Zoe Marie Newman admitted stealing the victim's handbag and passing the car keys on to a male friend.

Newman, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to stealing a handbag and its contents including car keys, a purse and cash belonging to Heather Jopson.

The magistrates stood the case down for the preparation of a pre-sentence report but Newman left the court building and a warrant was issued for her arrest.

Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said CCTV showed Newman leaving the toilet with the bag. A still from the footage was published by the police and Newman and the male who was with her were identified.

"She said the man had taken the keys and then phones another man to come and get the car," said Mrs Yates. "The car was found and the handbag recovered but an iPhone and other items are still missing."

Shaun Finnigan, defending, said Newman had gone to the toilets with a friend and as they left the friend saw the bag and told her to pick it up.

"It was instinctive, spur of the moment and there was no pre-planning," said Mr Finnigan. He said Newman used to take drugs but was now clean. There had been no offences since 2010 until this year when she had been in trouble three times.