Homeless thief sold jumpers to buy food and pay back friends

Court news.
Court news.

A homeless thief with an ‘uneviable record’ who committed an ‘unsophisticated’ crime had their sentence deferred until they get a place in a hostel.

Toni Lea Sharman, 37, of Kitwood Road, Boston, appeared at Boston Magistrates Court on Wednesday, and pleaded guilty to stealing 10 jumpers totalling £328 from Marks and Spencers, in the Market Place.

She also breached a community order.

Prosecuting, Nick Todd said the theft was ‘unsophisticated’ and said: “She simply walked into Marks and Spencers, filled a large bag with the 10 items of ladies knitwear, and walked out.”

He pointed that Sharman had a ‘large number of previous convictions’ including 23 for theft.

Defending, Philippa Chatterton said the offences related to Sharman’s homelessness, which had lasted about a year. She said she had sold the jumpers to pay for food and pay back friends who had let her stay at their house.

She said probation had spoken positively about Sharman’s participation and a representative of Addaction was hoping to get her into a hostel on Red Lion Street in the next five weeks.

Deferring Sharman’s sentence chair of Magistrates Kevin Moody said: “It’s not an unenviable record that we see in front of us and we understand the situation you are in, but you’re pulling yourself deeper and deeper into trouble by doing all this.”

He warned her that if she carried on she could face a custodial sentence.

Sharman’s will be sentenced on February 25, at 2pm.