A PROLIFIC shoplifter has been jailed after being caught twice while serving a suspended prison sentence.

Kerry Parfitt has scores of convictions for shoplifting to fund her longstanding drug addiction but her latest spree landed her with six months in custody.

The 42-year-old was spotted stealing £160 worth of booze from the Co-op in Stokesley on April 30 this year.

Teesside Crown Court heard how she was with two other people when staff saw them acting suspiciously.

The trio were stopped by staff and two men handed over five bottles of alcohol but Parfitt managed to flee with her haul of eight bottles before being caught by police in a nearby garden centre.

Her second offence tool place on June 7 this year when Parfitt stole £208 worth of goods from the Boots store in Redcar.

Uzma Khan, prosecuting, said: "She approached the perfume counter where she takes items, conceals them on her person and leaves without paying.

She added: "CCTV footage is viewed by staff, she is identified and goods were not recovered.

"She is also interviewed in relation that offence and she has admitted it, she said she had taken the items which didn't belong to her and she had been dishonest.

"She stated she received benefits and the items were to be sold in order to pay for gas, electricity and food."

The court heard she was given a suspended sentence in January this year after taking drugs into prison when she was serving a sentence. She was sentenced to six months, suspended for 18 months for that offence.

Miss Khan said Parfitt had 64 convictions for 134 offences, which were for theft and dishonesty.

She added: "She is a prolific shoplifter and she has received a variety of sentences."

Parfitt, of Ontario Crescent, Redcar, pleaded guilty to two charges of shop theft.

The court heard that she had worked well with the probation service as part of its prolific offender scheme which is designed to tackle repeat offenders and is now clean of drugs.

John Nixon, in mitigation, said his client had turned up at court fully prepared for custody with clothing in a bag ready to be sent to prison.

He added: "She has a long record and I accept unreservedly it is entirely up to the court to move out of the guideline in this particular case.

"It is a tragedy in many ways – she is a lady with a longstanding drug problem and her offending is to purchase drugs."

Recorder Abdul Iqbal QC sentenced Parfitt to two months for the two shoplifting offences and activated four months of her suspended sentence making it a total of six months.

He said: "You have, what can best be described, as a long and appalling record. You have 134 convictions recorded against you. Most of the offending is of dishonesty, you hae 85 theft offences recorded against you and drugs offences."

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