A WOMAN with a long history of shoplifting offences pleaded guilty to two counts at Chippenham Magistrates' Court and has been issued with an eight-month community order.

Marlene Cousins, 66, of Whytes Road in Bristol, pleaded guilty to stealing £60 worth of steak from Waitrose in Chippenham on April 8, which she later sold on.

The following day, the court heard that Mrs Cousins returned to the store with two other women and stole a sandwich and mayonnaise to the value of £3.76, but was caught by police.

In March last year, she was jailed for trying to smuggle illegal steroids into prison for her grandson, who was serving time for dangerous driving.

Defending, Edward Moore said: “She took the steak to raise settlement to cover a debt, the sandwich and mayonnaise was a case of old habits coming back.

“She realises that, at her age, it is time to stop and she wants to deal with the matter today.

“She has great-grandchildren who she hopes to see in the daytime and the charge should take that into account.”

District judge Simon Cooper said: “Waitrose in Chippenham has become a target for shoplifters, and I am going to say that you targeted it when you went back there the second time.

“You are a woman of 66 and you are quite right when you say that it’s time you stop this habit.

“I give you credit for pleading guilty but I will impose a community order for a period of eight weeks, which would have been more had you not pleaded guilty.”

Mr Cooper also ordered Mrs Cousins to pay £60 to Waitrose to compensate for the steaks.