Suspended jail term for Ammanford shoplifter

South Wales Guardian: HOPELESS: An Ammanford woman with almost 50 convictions to her name has received a 15-week suspended jail term. HOPELESS: An Ammanford woman with almost 50 convictions to her name has received a 15-week suspended jail term.

An Ammanford woman with almost 50 previous convictions to her name has received a 15-week suspended jail term after "all attempts to make her change her ways failed".

Tracey Leanne Sergeant, of 34 Maes y Fron, had previously admitted stealing £29.43 worth of make-up from the Asda store at Llanelli’s Parc Trostre on June 18 and also being in possession of 17 Valium tablets, which were discovered in her handbag by police officers during the subsequent search.

District Judge David Parsons, sitting at Llanelli magistrates court, was told how 36-year-old Sergeant had 47 previous convictions to her name, including 12 for dishonesty.

He also heard how the June offences occurred just one week after a supervision order imposed on Sergeant as part of an earlier sentence had concluded and while she was still subject to a conditional discharge in relation to an offence of being drunk and disorderly and amphetamine possession.

Kate Williams, defending, told the court: “The majority of her behaviour is the result of substance abuse, namely alcohol – which is incredibly difficult to treat.

“She is a nuisance rather than a real problem to the public and these latest offences are typical of her behaviour.”

Mr Parsons said: “It seems hopeless to impose more supervision.

“She has been on supervision time and again over the years without success.

“The offences before the court would normally be dealt with by way of a fine or a community penalty.

“What makes this case more serious is the fact that these offences came just a week after she finished a community order and while she were subject to a conditional discharge.

“All attempts to bring about change have failed and that leaves me in a position where I have no alternative but to consider imprisonment.”

Sergeant was sentenced to six weeks jail for the theft and another four weeks for possession of the Valium.

She was jailed for an additional four weeks in relation to the possession of amphetamine offence with the earlier conditional discharge was overturned.

She was also given one week behind bars for failing to attend court in line with the conditions of bail.

The prison terms were set to run concurrently.

Mr Parsons ordered that the sentence be suspended for nine months.

"If you keep out of trouble for nine months you have nothing to fear," he told Sergeant, "but if you come back to court within that time you will be sent to jail for 15 weeks."

Sergeant was also ordered top pay an £80 legal surcharge.

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