'Despicable' charity tin thief with 'appalling' criminal record dodges jail

A ‘DESPICABLE’ thief with an ‘appalling’ criminal record dodged jail after she snatched a charity tin raising cash for the terminally ill.

Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 11:27 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th July 2019, 3:40 pm

Sharon Randall stole a pair of scissors from Superdrug, in Palmerston Road, Southsea, before using them to break into a Marie Curie collection box and taking an unknown amount of money from the tin.

The prolific 52-year-old thief – who has more than 200 convictions, including at least 100 for theft – then went on to steal a £147.13 worth of meat from nearby Waitrose and a further £45 worth of meat and drink in Iceland during a spree on February 19.

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Caption: Sharon Randall, 52, of Waterloo Street, Portsmouth, appeared at Portsmouth Magistrates Court and admitted stealing a charity tin, meats and drink

Randall, of Waterloo Street, Southsea, was spared jail after pleading guilty to four counts of theft.

Sentencing a visibly distressed Randall to four months in prison – suspended for a year – district judge Gary Lucie said: ‘By far the worst of the four offences I have to sentence today is the theft of the charity box which I consider to be a despicable thing.

‘It was deliberate and planned. You went and stole scissors to carry out the offence against a backdrop of an appalling record of offending.’

Marie Curie was shocked at the crime with a spokesman adding: ‘The charity relies on vital donations like those left in collection tins and without these, we can’t be there to support people and their families when they need it the most.’

Defending Randall, Tim Sparkes said the 52-year-old crook was a carer for her critically-ill partner and that she was ‘emotionally unstable’ and prone to acting ‘anti-socially’.

He added at the time she had taken a ‘significant amount of prescription drugs’ – more than recommended.

‘Yes, this is a despicable offence and she has an extremely long history but she has quite significant personal mitigation and pleaded guilty at the first opportunity,’ Mr Sparkes told the court.

Randall wept in the dock as judge Lucie warned: ‘If you commit any further offences you will go to prison for four months. Stay out of trouble and comply with the order and you won’t go to prison.’

She must pay £150 compensation to Marie Curie.