Notorious Sunderland shoplifting couple given last chance

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A COUPLE of notorious shoplifters have been given one last chance to avoid jail after stealing hundreds of pounds worth of items in their latest thieving spree.

Serial thieves Victoria Wilson and David Francis, both 27, have a habit of entering shops and leaving without attempting to pay.

Sunderland magistrates heard how the pair went into Savers, in The Bridges, in Sunderland City Centre, On October 8, where they took toiletries and gift sets, worth £47.91.

Then, just over a week later, on October 17, they managed to steal food and booze , worth £243, from Asda in Ryhope. They were with a third co-accused, who will be dealt with separately, the court was told.

And on October 24, they walked into Heron Frozen Foods in Blandford Street, making off with £31.45 worth of food.

Wilson, of Finchale Close, Hendon also managed to steal £25 worth of goods from Poundworld, also in The Bridges, on October 2.

Wilson admitted four counts of theft and Francis, of Mordey Close, Hendon, pleaded guilty to three.

Gerry Armstrong, mitigating for both defendants, said: “They are under no illusions that the sentence imposed on them today is very much their last chance.

“There is little anybody can say in the future to say they deserve a further chance. They are grateful for that chance.

“I can only hope this is the last time I’m standing here asking for another chance.”

Wilson, who has been convicted of several shop thefts only this year, was jailed for 32 weeks, suspended for 12 months.

She will be subject to 12 months’ supervision and nine months’ drug treatment. She was also given a three-month curfew, between 2pm and 9pm, and take part in a ‘Spotlight on Shoplifting’ scheme.

Francis was given a 12-month community order, with six months’s supervision and drug treatment. He won’t be released from custody until November 26, after being recalled to serve the remainder of a previous prison sentence.

Both Wilson and Francis were each ordered to pay £104 in compensation.