A grandmother facing a string of shoplifting charges has vowed to turn her life around, telling a judge she is “actually tired of it all now”.
Leanne Stapleton, 40, previously admitted a number of thefts from Middlesbrough stores, including stealing £18 worth of meat from Lidl and more than £200 worth of toiletries from Superdrug.
The new mum and grandmother-of-four also stole clothing from New Look, washing up gel and air fresheners from Wilkinsons and toiletries from Poundland.
During an appearance at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, Stapleton was told there was limited options other than “immediate custody" for her crime spree earlier this year.
District judge Natalie Wortley said there was no “positive recommendation other than custody" after reading pre-sentence reports.
Belinda Dobson, mitigating, told the judge that Stapleton is "attempting to rehabilitate herself" and could qualify for a residential rehab facility.
The court heard how she is attempting to "turn her life around" and professionals are "extremely surprised" by her work recently.
The court was told how most items were "handed back to stores" by Stapleton or by police officers, adding that Stapleton’s health has been "in the balance" over the last couple of months after enduring a "hit and run accident” whilst pregnant and giving birth in August.
Stapleton, previously of Keith Road, Beechwood, was also admitted into a care facility following the incident which has been her “saving grace" due to the "support and care" she is now receiving.
The court heard how Stapleton now has contact with her four-week-old baby three times a week and has various methods of support including a social worker and probation officer.
Judge Wortley described it as an "highly unusual case" and stated the court would benefit from a fresh report from the probation service.
Stapleton's case was adjourned until 29 October and she has been handed conditional bail until her next court appearance.
Last year, Stapleton was convicted of coughing at a security guard and claiming she had coronavirus.
She was jailed for four months after being found guilty of assault.
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