This Sunderland champagne thief has clocked up 169 convictions – but she’s still not behind bars

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A SERIAL shoplifter has been spared jail for her 169th criminal conviction.

Claire MacGarva’s shocking past includes 123 offences for theft.

The 32-year-old was at Newcastle Crown Court yesterday after being collared pocketing champagne, meats and make-up from Wearside stores.

Judge James Goss sentenced her to eight months imprisonment, suspended for 12 months, with supervision and drug rehabilitation.

He told her: “There aren’t many people, even a lot older than you, that come before the court with a record where so many persistent offences are committed.

“It seems hardly a day goes by when you aren’t committing an offence.”

The court heard MacGarva, of Toward Road, Hendon, has been behind bars on remand for a month.

“You are going to get one final chance,” the judge said.

MacGarva’s latest crime spree started on April 22, when she took £106-worth of meat and champagne from the Co-op store in Shiney Row.

A week later she was back at the same shop, stealing the same things.

On July 20 she took two bottles of champagne, worth £60 from the same store.

And she was back again on July 29 stealing more food stuff to the value of nearly £50.

On July 19 she picked up seven bottles of tanning lotion, worth £200 from Sainburys, in Silksworth.

And on August 19 she took more than £140-worth of meat and alcohol from Marks and Spencers, in Sunderland city centre.

At the time of the offences she was the subject of court orders and on bail.

The court heard after her release from custody MacGarva would be reunited with her partner, who was being let out on the same day on licence from a three-and-a-half year jail term for violence.

Ian Hudson, defending, said MacGarva is willing to work with professionals who are trying to help her beat her heroin habit for good.

“She has what can only be described as an appalling record for offences of dishonesty.

“She is a 32-year-old heroin addict and she has been using that class A drug since she was 17, on and off.

“She is highly motivated to engage.”

MacGarva had pleaded guilty to the six most recent thefts.

Twitter: @sunderlandecho