THIEF Sharon Randall has been spared jail after taking a hospital charity tin raising cash to treat cancer victims.
The 50-year-old was at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham visiting her critically-ill partner when she stole one tin on April 30 and tried to take another on May 1.
Prosecutor Giles Fletcher told city magistrates there was thought to be at least £60 in the tin. Randall was spotted on CCTV as she took it from the restaurant on Level B.
She caused £54 worth of damage to the other tin.
Portsmouth Hospitals Charity’s tins were for the Rocky Appeal to buy the high-tech Da Vinci cancer surgery robot.
Randall, of Waterloo Street, Somers Town, was previously sentenced for a charity tin theft at QA on May 4.
She has 219 previous offences, including 101 thefts.
Magistrates spared her jail after hearing she had come off drugs with just one relapse and was doing ‘exceptionally well’ on post-prison supervision with probation.
Sentencing a visibly upset Randall, Malcolm Hogg said: ‘These are two pretty rotten offences against a charity.
‘You’re obviously feeling a bit ashamed of yourself and so you should be – you’ve done it before as well.
‘You’ve got a terrible record but we’re really pleased to hear what you’re trying to do with probation.’
Magistrates imposed a 28-day prison sentence suspended for a year on both counts, to run concurrently.
Speaking from the dock, Randall said: ‘I apologise.’
She must pay £125 compensation to the charity.
Speaking after the hearing, Rocky Appeal fundraising coordinator Mick Lyons said: ‘It’s despicable when someone steals these boxes, any charity boxes from anywhere, let alone the hospital.
‘They’re to help benefit thousands of people – even the person who steals it should they ever need it.’
Kate Rowe, for Randall, said she had been visiting her critically-unwell partner, who has since moved back home to their city council bungalow.
She said: ‘When Miss Randall was going to the hospital she couldn’t cope with what she was seeing so she would take a handful of medicine she had for epilepsy, that included diazepam. When she was committing these offences she didn’t really appreciate what she was doing.’
Randall admitted the charges yesterday.