A woman who mounted a shoplifting blitz told police she “woke up with the intention of going to Ballymena to shoplift”.
Hannah Elizabeth McGill (21), of Ballywillan Road in Portrush, struck at Primark, Topshop, Next, New Look, H&M and TK Maxx on May 15 this year.
A prosecutor told Ballymena Magistrates Court that police attended Primark in Ballymena’s Tower Centre where McGill had been detained after leaving without making payment for £204 worth of goods.
She was searched and had stolen items from five other shops.
The total amount came to over £600 and they were fit for re-sale.
McGill originally told police she had receipts in a vehicle but it was searched and none was found.
When cautioned by police she said: “I’m sorry”.
The prosecuting lawyer said McGill told police she “woke up with the intention of going to Ballymena to shoplift” and the defendant had outlined the shops in which she “normally did this”.
She told police she had lost her job in February and her life had “gone downhill”.
McGill also said she had not been taking her medication.
The defendant had previously pleaded guilty to six charges of theft.
A defence lawyer said there was some confusion as to what his client’s “mental state” was on the day in question and he added that in September this year the defendant had spent a week in hospital..
“She is trying to get herself a job now and stabilise things,” he added.
Ordering the defendant to do 120 hours of unpaid work, District Judge Nigel Broderick told McGill it was a “direct alternative” to jail.
He added: “If you continue in this vain you will go to prison”.