A woman who picked a man’s pocket in a Penhill pub then helped her boyfriend steal from another man has been jailed for 11 months.

Nina Austin, 42, had tears in her eyes as she was taken from the dock in Swindon Crown Court yesterday – two years after she carried out the spree.

The court heard how she had picked the pocket of a drinker in the Deer’s Leap pub in Penhill on August 25, 2018.

At around 5.30am the next morning she was near the Moonrakers roundabout when she accosted another man returning from a night out in the town centre.

She appeared to be crying and the man said she could walk with him. As he rolled a cigarette he remembered being struck. CCTV showed him being attacked by two men, one of whom was Austin’s then boyfriend Bryan Chubb.

His wallet was taken, containing his driving licence, bank cards and photographs of sentimental importance. When he realised his keys had been taken along with his licence, which had his address printed on it, the victim asked police to go round to check his home had not been broken into.

Austin and Chubb later stole champagne and sandwiches from the Penhill service station in Cricklade Road and used two of the stolen bank cards. Austin also used two stolen bank cards in the Tesco Express supermarket in Abbey Meads.

Austin, formerly of Common Hill, Cricklade, had been due to stand trial with Chubb on a robbery charge. But prosecutors accepted a lesser charge of theft and, for Chubb, assault causing actual bodily harm. Austin also admitted theft from the person, shoplifting and fraud by false representation.

The court heard she had a lengthy record, with 38 previous convictions for theft or similar offences.

She had previously struggled with crack cocaine addiction , but defence barrister Alistair Haggerty said she had managed to kick the habit and was now working with addiction service Turning Point. Her probation officer noted that her engagement with Turning Point could be better. Austin was said to have stable accommodation, a supportive family and was back in contact with her son.

Jailing Austin for 11 months, Judge Peter Crabtree said the sentence had to be immediate and could not be suspended. “I accept that the risk you present to the public is at the medium level and not high, but you have a poor history of compliance with court orders and I have real concerns about your ability to rehabilitate.”

Bryan Chubb, 39, was jailed for 18 months earlier this month after he admitted ABH and theft.