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Judge gives shoplifter a "final, final, final chance"
A SERIAL shoplifter who breached a suspended prison sentence just weeks after it was passed has dodged jail again - after a judge said: "This is the final, final, final chance."
Amy Kelly, 24, was told that she needs to take responsibility for her own actions when she came within a whisker - again - of a spell behind bars at Teesside Crown Court yesterday.
The heavy drinker was given a 12-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, in June after a sneak-in burglary at the Darlington home of a partially-sighted man in January.
Yet, within three months of the let-off, she was caught stealing groceries and alcohol from a Tesco store in the town, no toiletries and booze from a Morrisons shop.
In between the two thefts, she had been taken to Darlington police station for breaching her bail, and made a run for it when she spotted an open door she was to be quizzed.
Her barrister, Paul Newcombe, said she was terrified at the prospect of being held in custody, and said she is now willing to take whatever help the Probation Service can give.
Kelly, of Cumberland Street, Darlington, admitted two charges of theft - from September 2 and October 1 - and resisting a police officer on September 23.
She was given a community order with six months of supervision, and had an alcohol specified requirement added to he suspended sentence order by Recorder Tim Gittins.
The judge told her: "What you must realise is that the Probation Service and others are trying to help you steer away from offending and steer away from alcohol.
"Everybody is trying to help you, but you have got to start helping yourself, and that includes not going into shops and stealing, and not putting yourself in jeopardy."
Mr Newcombe told the court that Kelly relapsed after being released from custody - she had been on remand after the January burglary - and started boozing again.
Mr Recorder Gittins said: "She has to realise that this really is a final, final, final chance."