'I am going to give you a chance': Burglar with more than 100 convictions gets final chance from judge
A serial criminal who claims she has "gone clean" after clocking up more than 100 convictions has been given a final chance to keep her freedom.
Jamie Birrell broke into the private concierge area of the Horizon Apartments in Sunderland on December 13 last year and helped herself to a phone, walkie talkie and keys.
The raid put the 28-year-old, of Collingwood Street, Hebburn, in breach of community orders and suspended prison sentences for offences including theft, attempted theft and being caught carrying a kitchen knife on Fawcett street in the city.Birrell, who admitted burglary, was due to be re-sentenced for all of the offences at Newcastle Crown Court and could have faced a prison sentence.
But Miss Recorder Kama Melly QC has given Birrell, who has 109 previous convictions, a final chance to stay out of trouble and avoid jail.
Nicholas Lane, defending, told the court Birrell is "not a habitual burglar" but would steal in the past to a "low level" to fund dependency on alcohol and drugs.
But Mr Lane added that Birrell has now reached a "turning point" in her life where she wants to move away from crime and focus on a more positive future.
Mr Lane told the court: "She has gone clean".
The judge adjourned sentence until July 2 to give her a chance to "comply completely" with the probation service.
The judge told Birrell: "I am going to give you a chance, if you are willing to take it.
"A lot of judges would say you've had chances, chances after chances and you have not taken them.
"If you haven't complied, it will be imprisonment."