SUZANNE Marshall had her four-year-old son with her when she stole a scooter from T J Hughes' Blackburn store.

The town's magistrates heard that the boy tried the scooter out in the store and when he was reluctant to put it back Marshall carried it down the escalator for him before they left the store.

Marshall, 22, of Wellington Street, Accrington, pleaded guilty to theft and was fined £80 with £40 costs.

Silvia Dacre, prosecuting, said Marshall told police she made the decision to allow the child to keep the scooter.

Andrew Church-Taylor, defending, said he wished to immediately dispel the idea that Marshall had decided to steal the scooter and then used her young child to do it.

"That is not what happened," said Mr Church-Taylor. "She went to T J Hughes to look at the scooters and ascertain the price of them."

He said the child tried out the scooter and was then reluctant to give it back.

"She accepts that she carried it down the escalator and also that she did not have enough money to pay for it," said Mr Church-Taylor.

Passing sentence, the chairman said the offence was aggravated by the involvement of the child but the bench accepted that it had not been planned.