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Woman breaks down in tears as she pleads guilty to stealing plaques from Christchurch RSA cemetery

A tearful 41-year-old woman has appeared via video link in Christchurch District Court this afternoon, after admitting stealing dozens of plaques from graves at an RSA cemetery, just outside the city.

The woman entered a plea of guilty to stealing 37 brass grave plaques valued at $4,000 from the Springston cemetery.

The incident at the RSA cemetery was reported to police on May 6.

She also admitted possession of cannabis.

The court heard the woman was a long time drug user, whose habit had escalated in recent months.

CCTV pictures released to 1 NEWS showed the woman attempting to sell the plaques to a scrap metal dealer.

The desecration of 40 graves of service men and women has caused immense upset for their families.

The judge granted interim name suppression, and remanded her in custody until August, for sentencing.

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    The desecration of 40 graves of service men and women at Springston Cemetery has angered their families. Source: 1 NEWS