MAGISTRATES flouted their sentencing guidelines to send a homeless woman to jail after she begged to be banged up.

Donna Marie Foxton stole two boxes of pink Lindt Lindor chocolates and two packets of crisps in a bid to land herself in prison.

She attempted to leave Durham City’s Market Place Tesco Metro with the items on Monday - hours after being released from custody having pleading guilty to shop theft at the store on Friday.

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Dave Malone, mitigating, appealed on behalf of his client for magistrates in Newton Aycliffe yesterday to send the 37-year-old to prison.

He said: “That would be outside your sentencing guidelines but that shows how very desperate she is. She’s hit rock bottom.”

The court heard Foxton, who has 44 previous convictions for 68 offences, stole because she was “homeless and hungry” and threatened to commit further offences if she was released.

Mr Malone added: “She said ‘if I need to use a weapon I will’.”

Foxton also pleaded guilty to one count of being drunk and disorderly.

Chairman of the bench Christine Ramshaw, who sentenced her to 14 days in custody and ordered her to pay a £115 victim surcharge, said: “Our reasons for custody and for going outside our guidelines is that you are a prolific offender and would fail to comply with probation.”

She added the sentence was not suspended due to Mr Malone’s request.