Pregnant mother in court for theft

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A PREGNANT mother has been given a suspended jail sentence after admitting stealing a foetal baby monitor from a hospital and handling laptops stolen from a middle school.

Tanya Zarkos, 20, of Hill Rise, Stowmarket, received a twelve week suspended sentence at Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, having previously pleaded guilty to theft and handling stolen goods.

On July 16 last year, police executed a search warrant at Zarkos’ address in relation to a burglary at Combs Middle School, in Stowmarket, on June 30.

Officers discovered six laptops in the house, with embossed labels showing they belonged to the school.

Mother-of-one Zarkos later told officers that she had paid £150 each for the computers but that she did not know they were stolen.

On October 13, Zarkos attended an appointment in Stowmarket to give her unborn baby, due in April, a check up.

The nurse left the room for five minutes and when she returned found a foetal baby heart monitor, worth £400, had been taken and Zarkos and her partner were nowhere to be seen. Police executed a search warrant and discovered the baby monitor in Zarkos’ house.

In questioning, she told police that she had bought the monitor on eBay for £30 as she had a friend who had bought one and she wanted one, too.

She later admitted she had taken the monitor, telling police that she couldn’t get it to work anyway because a special gel was needed to use it effectively.

Sentencing Zarkos, presiding magistrate Diane Allum said: “The matters are so serious that custody is the only option.

“You knew the baby monitor was for a vulnerable mother – you knew the laptops were stolen from a local middle school.”

Zarkos was jailed for twelve weeks for each of the offences concurrently, suspended for one year, and handed a year long supervision order.