Hartlepool woman with 107 convictions spared jail sentence – but warned not to steal again

Gavel and scales
Gavel and scales

A woman with more than 100 previous convictions was spared a prison sentence after admitting shoplifting.

Nicola Casey walked into the JD Sports shop in Hertlepool’s Middleton Grange shopping centre and walked out with three Lacoste T-shirts, the town’s magistrates’ court heard.

“She made no attempt to pay for them,” said David Carmichael, prosecuting. “She was identified from CCTV.

“Her premises were searched, but none of the property was recovered.

“She admitted the offence in her police interview, saying she had sold the shirts, but she would not say to whom she had sold them.”

Casey, 36, of no fixed abode, admitted theft on Friday, February 5, and breaching a suspended sentence imposed for three shop thefts last November.

The court heard she has convictions for 107 offences, including 41 thefts.

Shiela Ramshaw, defending, said in mitigation: “Ms Casey is having big issues with her accommodation.

“Her benefits had stopped, and she made the snap decision to steal the shirts.

“She sold them for £30 to get some food.

“Her benefits have started again, and she is on methadone.

“There are signs she is getting her life back in order.”

Casey was ordered to pay costs and compensation of £175, and the period of her suspended sentence was extended to 12 months.

Bench chairwoman Judith Gibson told Casey: “We are prepared to give you one last chance to prove you mean business, but if you steal from shops again, you must understand that you will almost inevitably go to prison.”