A ‘HABITUAL shop thief’ who stole £200 of booze from a supermarket in South Tyneside a week after being released from prison has avoided being put back behind bars.
Victoria Wilson snatched 10 bottles of Jack Daniels – valued at a total of £210 – from the Asda store in Station Road, Hebburn, on Thursday, May 29.
The 27-year-old was caught in the act by in-store CCTV cameras and later arrested by police.
Wilson pleaded guilty to shop theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court.
The court heard that Wilson, of Tatham Street, Sunderland, had only been released from a 13-month jail term on May 22 – seven days before her raid at the store.
District Judge Helen Cousins said Wilson’s previous record did not give her “an awful lot of hope”. but agreed to give her one last chance to get her life back on track.
She was handed a six-month prison sentence – but it was suspended for nine months.
She was also ordered to be the subject of a two month curfew, between the hours of 2pm and 9pm each day.
Paul Doney, prosecuting, said: “At 12.50pm on May 29, the defendant went into the Asda store and selected 10 bottles of Jack Daniels, valued at £21 each.
“She de-tagged the bottles, concealed them in a bag and left without paying.
“She was captured on CCTV. When arrested she made full admissions to the offence.” Gerry Armstrong, defending, said: “She is a habitual shop thief. Initially it was to feed a drug habit but, more latterly, to fund her life in general.
“The problem is that she comes out of prison, has problems with her address and benefits and gets sent to the Salvation Army, where she is the only woman.
“She has been moved but has to pay for board. She has nothing to live on and does the thing she knows best – steal.
“If you imprison her again, we are going to go round and round again and the pattern will never be broken.”
Judge Cousins said: “Your record doesn’t give me an awful lot of hope, but I will give you this opportunity.
“There will be a prison sentence of six months – but it will be suspended for nine months.”
Wilson was also ordered to pay a reduced compensation of £30 due to her lack of means.