Sunderland 32-year-old grandmother serial shoplifter spared jail after hitting B&M and Poundstretchers

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A serial shoplifter has been given a final chance to stay out of trouble after her latest thefts from stores.

Melissa Sloanes, who has over 130 previous convictions, including 59 for shoplifting, was on a suspended prison sentence, a community order and a conditional discharge when she targeted Poundstretchers in Sunderland in August, and B&M Bargains at Hylton retail park earlier this month.

The 32-year-old grandmother-to-be had walked off with chocolates, coffee and toiletries – worth less than £5 from each shop – without paying Sloanes admitted two charges of theft and has been in custody for more than a fortnight.

At Newcastle Crown Court Judge Paul Sloan QC sentenced her to one month behind bars, which means she will be immediately released.

The judge told her: “I am aware you have spoken of trying to address your problems.

“I am prepared to give you another chance to do just that.”

The judge said on her release, Sloanes, of no fixed address, must abide by a 21 day curfew from 8pm to 6am.

Judge Sloan warned her: “If you go shoplifting again you have run out of chances now.

“You will be sentenced to quite a term of imprisonment, that is what you are facing if you go out and shoplift again.”

Paul Cross, defending, said Sloanes’ daughter’s pregnancy is important to the gran-to-be and she is motivated to address her problems.