By The Canadian Press
BRANDON, Man. — A woman in Brandon, Man., who was arrested every week for shoplifting during a two-month period late last year has been sentenced to just over 15 months behind bars.
Melissa Lynn Thompson, who is 26, was sentenced earlier this week after pleading guilty to multiple charges of theft under $5,000 and breaching probation.
The Crown said Thompson would sometimes be arrested multiple times a week for stealing or breaking court-ordered conditions between Oct. 24 and Dec. 25, 2016.
Prosecutor Deidre Badcock told court the accused stole $850 worth of merchandise alone from Superstore and the Manitoba Liquor Mart, but only some of it was recovered.
Defence lawyer Bob Harrison says his client has a serious alcohol addiction stemming from an abusive background, and that rehabilitation is still possible.
Based on time already spent in custody, Thompson has 109 days left to serve.
“This is someone who has been consistently in our justice system without any break whatsoever since 2013,” Badcock told provincial court Judge John Combs.
“She’s been given many opportunities in the community to change her behaviour, and frankly, she’s not interested.”
Court heard Thompson often wend into a liquor store with a partner in crime and stuffed a liquor bottle into her purse or bag.
At one point she went to a Superstore outlet twice in one day. She entered and was arrested for breaching her conditions in the morning, only to return 12 hours later and attempt to steal more than $300 worth of meat products.
“Superstore is essentially fed up with (Thompson),” said Badcock. “The only break Superstore has had from her has been when she is incarcerated.”
Combs said although the offences were not very serious individually, the pattern of continual theft and breaching of court orders warranted a stronger response.
“The storekeepers of our community need to be protected as much as anyone else does from this kind of behaviour,” he told Thompson. “It’s a sad comment when the store just doesn’t bother charging you anymore because the offences are happening too fast and too often. Obviously it’s something that needs to change.”
Combs met the Crown and the defence in the middle regarding enhanced credit for time served, reducing the enhancement from 1.5 days’ credit to 1.3 days’ credit per day in custody.
Thompson also faces two years of unsupervised probation upon release. (Brandon Sun)