Hartlepool gran, 36, has criminal record of 240 offences

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A 36-year-old grandmother who has 240 offences on her record stole clothes to give to her children and grandchildren.

 Joanne McKie, who has more than 100 previous convictions for theft, told police she wanted the items from Next and Mama and Papas stores to use as presents, Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard.

She may be a thief and a drug addict, but she is also a mother and a grandmother

John Relton, defending

“McKie stole from Next at Dalton Park in County Durham, and from Mamas and Papas on the Teesside Retail Park in Stockton,” said Sarah Traynor, prosecuting.

“At Next, she placed numerous items of children’s clothing in carrier bags then left the store making no attempt to pay.

“A security officer detained her outside the shop.”

The court heard McKie left Mamas and Papas with clothing hidden under her jacket.

“The item was still on its hanger,” said Ms Traynor.  

“She was seen to place it behind a nearby bin.

“Ms McKie’s record runs to 240 offences, including 113 for theft. She has had many different types of sentences, including more recently two short custodial sentences.”

McKie, of Stockton Road, Hartlepool, admitted theft on August 31 and October 7.

John Relton, defending, said in mitigation: “She may be a thief and a drug addict, but she is also a mother and a grandmother.

“Like any woman in that position, she wanted to provide presents and things for the children.

“It is her judgement over how she does that which is flawed.”

The magistrates sentenced McKie to six weeks in prison, suspended for six months, and ordered her to pay £260 costs and criminal court charge.

The money will be deducted from her benefits.