A serial shoplifter is today behind bars after a judge told her she has run out of chances to keep her freedom.
Melissa Sloanes, who has more than 130 previous convictions, was already on suspended prison terms, conditional discharges and community orders when she embarked on her latest theft spree. Newcastle Crown Court heard the 33-year-old gran helped herself to a fishing rod from Cash Converters and more than £30 worth of coffee from Poundstretcher, both in Sunderland.
The thefts were to help fund her long-standing drug habit. She pleaded guilty to two charges of theft and breach of the existing court orders and was jailed for a total of 18 months Judge Paul Sloan QC told her: “You have been given chance after chance after chance by me.” The judge said Sloanes, of no fixed address, had made limited progress while subject to some of the orders. But he added: “As soon as I have given you a further chance, you have simply reverted to your usual ways of failing to engage and re-offending.” The judge said despite Sloanes being the subject of a drug rehabilitation order, testing shows she was positive for “numerous types of drug”. Judge Sloan told her: “You have made scant progress while subject to various court orders. “Last time, I warned you in terms it was your last chance and if you re-offended again you would face a lengthy custodial sentence.” Sloanes appeared at the hearing via videolink to HMP Low Newton.