A Belfast woman with more than 200 criminal convictions avoided a prison sentence yesterday after she admitted stealing clothes from an adult shop.
Rosaleen Mary Bradley (37), from Cliftonville Road, appeared at Belfast Crown Court where she was arraigned and sentenced for stealing goods worth £80 from the Ann Summers store in Rosemary Street.
After she entered a guilty plea to theft, Crown prosecutor Gareth Purvis said Bradley was captured on CCTV in the store on October 22, 2019.
On the first floor she started de-tagging clothes she then placed in an Ann Summers bag lifted from behind the counter.
Bradley went back down the stairs, selected several pairs of pyjamas, then returned upstairs with those items, which she also placed in the bag before leaving the store.
Mr Purvis said that as the items had been de-tagged the shop's alarm did not sound.
After the CCTV was viewed Bradley was identified and arrested. The prosecutor said that during interview she "readily admitted" the theft and told police: "I'm sorry, I always am."
A defence barrister said Bradley served a prison sentence for similar offences committed around the same period as the Ann Summers theft, adding she was now on licence and working with the Probation Service.
The barrister urged Belfast Recorder Judge Stephen Fowler not to impose a further prison sentence for the theft, and questioned why it wasn't dealt with the same time as the other charges.
Judge Fowler agreed, and noting Bradley's 205 criminal convictions, made her the subject of a two-year probation order.
He said: "I have to say to you that with your record it is virtually inevitable that you will be jailed if you breach probation.
"Do you understand that? This is an opportunity for you to break this cycle of offending."
Bradley replied: "I'm getting a lot of support at the minute and it's going very, very well.
"I have never had this kind of support before. Thank you very much."