A WOMAN stealing to pay off a drug debt stole designer handbags worth more than £2,500 in two visits to a Blackburn store.

Blackburn magistrates heard Corallena Loveridge was arrested within 30 minutes of the second offence but there was no sign of the 17 Michael Kors handbags.

Loveridge, 29, of Fowler Height Close, Blackburn, pleaded guilty to two charges of stealing handbags from TK Max.

The offences put her in breach of a suspended prison sentence and she was jailed for a total of 38 weeks.

Gareth Price, defending, said having been made subject to a suspended sentence in October his client was realistic about the inevitable sentence to be imposed.

He said she disputed the value placed on the bags but accepted that in the grand scheme of things it didn't really matter.

"As she told the police, she had run up a drug debt and was required to carry out these offences in order to pay it off," said Mr Price.

"She was arrested within 30 minutes of the offences and none of the bags were recovered, which perhaps suggests there was someone acting with her who was waiting outside."