A MOTHER of five was jailed for stealing tinned pies and sardines from a Southampton shop.

Kerry Zabiela, 32, took the items - worth £32.98 - from Tesco Express in Thornhill.

But the mum was also found in possession of a knife when security guards stopped her leaving the shop.

Southampton Crown Court heard how Zabiela had been a former class A drug user - but was now “fit, well, healthy and motivated.”

But she had also been made homeless, and had been “sofa surfing” for a “number of years.”

The court was told that in return for letting Zabiela stay on her sofa, a friend asked Zabiela to steal food.

Security guards suspected the pair of stealing, stopped them on their way out of the shop, searched Zabiela’s bag and found the food items as well as a knife.

But the friend, who was in a wheelchair, left the scene - leaving Zabiela to deal with security.

In Zabiela’s defence solicitor Eve Shelley said: “Zabiela told security she had nowhere to keep the knife as she was sofa surfing. She had gone to the shop with intent to steal. She was being asked to take items in return for staying at the house and has been for a number of years sofa surfing.”

She added that the knife wasn’t being used - and Zabiela was returning it to a friend who had lent it to her.

Ms Shelley said the 32 year old was “now clean from class A drugs, not using replacements and genuinely at a cross-roads in her life.

Zabiela was already a on a suspended sentence for shoplifting in 2017.

Judge Henry sentenced her to two months for theft, four months for the bladed article and three for the breach of a suspended sentence.