Repeat thief avoids prison

Poundland, Market Street, Halifax.
Poundland, Market Street, Halifax.

A 25-year-old woman who stole food from two Halifax shops in the space of 11 days has avoided being jailed for breaching a suspended prison sentence.

Last April Rachel Clay was given a 20-month prison sentence, suspended for two years, after she admitted trying to rob a 16-year-old girl in Halifax town centre.

During that early hours incident Clay, of Gerrard Street, Halifax, was said to have brandished a broken bottle towards the youngster after smashing it on a nearby lamp post.

Drunken Clay then tried to grab her victim’s shoulder bag, but the teenager managed to run off.

As part of the suspended sentence Clay was ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work for the community and take part in a six-month drug rehabilitation programme.

But Clay was back before Judge Colin Burn at Bradford Crown Court after she admitted two offences of shoplifting relating to incidents at Heron Foods and Poundland in January this year.

The judge was told that Clay’s boyfriend was not receiving any benefits at the time of the offences and they had been stealing food items simply to have something to eat.

The two offences amounted to £14 worth of food items and Judge Burn said he was not going to send Clay into custody for that.

Instead the judge said Clay would have to do a further 60 hours unpaid work for the community, but he said he was reserving any further breaches of the suspended sentence to himself.