Shoplifter with a criminal record is narrowly spared from time behind bars

East Midlands Designer Outlet, at South Normanton.
East Midlands Designer Outlet, at South Normanton.

A thief with a criminal record has been spared from jail despite committing her latest offence during a suspended prison sentence.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on June 11 how Laura Gillespie, 32, stole nine candles from Hallmark, at the East Midlands Designer Outlet retail park, at South Normanton.

Prosecuting solicitor Rosanna McDaid said a staff member alerted the manager that a female had stolen goods and Gillespie was detained and was found with several large candles.

Ms McDaid added that Gillespie has a criminal record including matters for dishonesty and shoplifting.

Gillespie, of Northwood Avenue, Sutton-in-Ashfield, pleaded guilty to the theft which happened on June 10 and she also admitted breaching a previously imposed suspended sentence order.

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Defence solicitor Anise Rowland said Gillsepie has been struggling and has been involved with class A drugs and has been living without benefits and has had homeless difficulties.

Ms Rowland added: “She has not realised until today how close she has come to being deprived of her liberty.”

Magistrates, who sympathised with Gillespie’s personal circumstances, extended her existing suspended sentence order until January 2020, with a six-month Drug Rehabilitation Requirement and a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

They also imposed a six-month community order with a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement for the theft.

She was also fined £25 and must pay a £145 costs and an £85 victim surcharge.