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Skipton shoplifter with 91 convictions is sent to prison
6:24pm Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
A 33-year-old repeat shoplifter who stole £400 in perfume, shoes and clothes from Skipton shops has been jailed for 16 weeks.
Samantha Nerney was caught after her bags of stolen goods were spotted hidden by a vigilant resident, Skipton magistrates heard.
The witness was on the telephone to the police when she saw Nerney return with another bag of items stolen from three Skipton shops, the court was told.
She took a picture of the woman, before continuing with her call to the police who stopped the defendant as she caught a bus back home to Nelson.
Nerney, described in court as a drug addict with a considerable number of shoplifting convictions, admitted stealing £306 of perfume from Boots; £38 of shoes from Stead and Simpson, and £49.50 of clothing from Next, all on May 8. The goods were later returned to the shops.
Nerney at first claimed to police that she had watched a woman hiding the bags before taking them herself and pleaded not guilty to theft.
But before the trial was due to take place, Nerney, of Marlin Street, Nelson, changed her pleas to guilty.
In mitigation, Mark Williams said Nerney, who was on a court order for shoplifting at the time of the Skipton offences, stole to fund her drug habit.
He said of her 91 convictions, a significant number were for shoplifting in a number of different towns.
“She came over to Skipton on the bus and the bags were hidden until she was due to get the bus and go back home,” he said.
He added she was a single woman in receipt of benefits and had attended court in an open and honest fashion with the belief she would be sent into custody. “She has a drug addiction that has been bubbling away for years and appreciates that perhaps the best way for her to get over it is to have a spell in prison,” he said.
Magistrates told Nerney that she was a prolific offender who failed to respond to court orders and that they had no option but to send her to prison.
She was sentenced to 16 weeks for each of the three offences, to run at the same time, and was told she would be released on licence after completing half her sentence, but that if she re-offended, she would be recalled to prison.