A PROLIFIC thief who is banned from most of the shops in her hometown of Workington switched her attention to Carlisle.

Lindsay Thompson, 39, whose criminal record features 45 previous thefts, came to the city on May 4 and first stole from TK Maxx before then moving on to River Island, Carlisle’s Rickergate court heard.

She admitted both offences.

Prosecutor Peter Kelly said police were called to River Island on Scotch Street after staff there saw the defendant stealing. She stole clothes worth £139. When she was searched, it became apparent that Thompson was carrying goods from TK Maxx which she had not paid for.

When questioned, the defendant said she had stolen from TK Maxx to get gifts for family members. On March 14, a court had imposed a criminal behaviour order which banned Thompson from most Workington stores.

It was suggested that this prompted her trip to Carlisle so she could carry on stealing from stores where she is not banned.

Kate Hunter, defending, explained that the defendant, of Firth View Walk, Workington, appeared before the city’s crown court on May 9 for yet more offending – four thefts and four breaches of her criminal behaviour order.

A judge gave her a suspended 28 day jail term and a drug rehabilitation requirement, as well as rehabilitation.

Addressing the suggestion that Thompson came to Carlisle as part of a planned thieving enterprise, Miss Hunter said the defendant usually spent time in both areas.

Thompson had recently tested positive for drugs.

"That is concerning but Miss Thompson tells me she has an appointment tomorrow to be drugs tested and she's confident she'll be clean," added Miss Hunter.

Magistrates concluded that there had clearly been some planning involved in the offending; and the offending happened just days before she was due before the crown court.  They imposed a further jail term of four weeks.

However, the sentence also will be suspended for 12 months.  Thompson must pay £85 costs and a £154 victim surcharge.

Read more: Workington woman began stealing 'after her mum was murdered'