A TRAVELLING thief with 230 convictions to her name has been put behind bars for her latest single-handed crime wave.
During the spree, Paula Alderson, whose criminal record includes 100 offences of shoplifting, targeted shops across the North East, taking aftershave and
meat she had not paid for.
At the time the 33-year-old was on a suspended sentence, community order and bail.
At Newcastle Crown Court today, Judge Paul Sloan QC jailed her for a total of 16 months.
He told her: “You have not complied, notwithstanding chance after chance that you were offered.
“You were travelling around the North East to different locations, stealing high-value perfume in the main.
“This is all aggravated by your record and by the fact you were in a suspended sentence order and a community order.
“The stage has been reached where the only appropriate sentence is one of immediate custody.
“Clearly you are both unwilling and unable to comply with community requirements.”
The court heard Alderson had taken eight bottles of aftershave, worth £155, from Morrisons in Jarrow in July last year.
The following month she was caught on CCTV taking £110 of aftershave from Lloyds chemist in Seaham.
On November 16 she took 18 bottles of aftershave from Next at Dalton Retail Park in Murton.
And on January 24 she took £132 worth of meat from Marks & Spencer in Stockton.
Alderson, of El Kebir Road, Hendon, Sunderland, admitted the thefts.
Prosecutor Mark Styles said: “She is a prolific thief. She is well known at various shopping centres, and banned from going in to ertain of them.”
Paul Cross, defending, said much of the offending has been to purchased drugs.
He added: “The much more recent offences were due to financial pressures rather than drugs.
“If she has been short of money, the old habits kick in.”