My wife was charged with stealing from a supermarket last friday afternoon ( theft). She takes her reusable bags to the supermarket and fills them with items as she shops and loads them into a trolley. On reaching the checkout she then unloads several bags onto the conveyor to be scanned and they are reloaded and she pays and leaves with the bags in the trolley to the car park. On this occasion one bag got left in the trolley which was not noticed by the checkout operator or my wife. I must point out that at this time my wife was desperately trying to contact her sister and family in Queensland by phone as they were caught up in the heart of the cyclone last week. She was was not concentrating very well on what she was doing with the groceries. Upon paying for her groceries and leaving the store she was stopped by security. After being told she realised what had happended and offered immediately to pay for the extra groceries, however police were called and a charge was laid. Her taking of the items was completely accidental and not intentional and she has never in her life had any previous charges. My question is whether an honest mistake constitutes a defence for shoplifting and could she plead not guilty, or should she just plead guilty, offer a plea of mitigation and hope for no conviction.