A WOMAN with 106 previous convictions has been spared a jail sentence after promising to turn her life around for the sake of her baby son.
Charmaine McAllister, 27, was sentenced at Winchester Crown Court on Friday for 18 charges relating to fraud and theft, and asked for another 45 similar offences to be taken into consideration.
The court heard McAllister was living with her boyfriend at Picton Barracks in Bulford when she carried out a series of thefts at equestrian events around the country in April and May last year.
She entered people’s horse boxes and stole their handbags and purses while they were competing, then used their bank cards and driving licences to try to obtain cash transfers, loans and store cards.
The court heard McAllister used the money she obtained to buy things for other people so they would like her – buying air rifles and a laptop for her boyfriend and paying off his mother’s bills.
Prosecuting, Tammy Mears said there had been “prolific offending” from 2012 to the present day and that the total benefit McAllister got from her offences was £31,882, of which she would only be able to pay back £455.
The court heard McAllister had tried to avoid going to court for her sentencing by producing a fraudulent medical certificate. She also said her mother had died but when police checked, she was alive and well.
Defending, Stuart Lill said McAllister had been honest about the other matters to be taken into consideration because she wanted a fresh start as her personal life has changed.
She has now married and lives in Huddersfield with her husband and seven-month-old son. “She is fully aware that if you didn’t send her to prison it would be a once in a lifetime opportunity for her,” he said.
Judge Jane Miller said: “You’re still only 27 and I have to say, I have never seen a young woman with such a comprehensive list of offences to her name. Your record is astonishing and you have had ten custodial sentences.
“One of the most unattractive features of this case is you have consistently tried to avoid being sentenced. You are a thoroughly dishonest young woman.”
Judge Miller said she would “take a chance” on McAllister and gave her a two-year suspended sentence. She also ordered her to pay £100 victim surcharge.