Shoplifter has last chance to avoid prison

Natasha Ford stole from Debenhams in Falkirk's Howgate Centre
Natasha Ford stole from Debenhams in Falkirk's Howgate Centre

A shoplifter has been warned if she steals again she could face two and a half years in jail.

Natasha Ford appeared from custody at Falkirk Sheriff Court having spent the last eight weeks on remand.

Defence lawyer Andy Bryson told the court the repeat offender’s time in prison had been “very helpful” because it had allowed her drug habit to be tackled.

He claimed: “She has detoxified during this period and that’s been very helpful for her. It’s been a godsend.”

At a previous court the repeat offender from 96 Lomond Drive, Falkirk, had admitted breaching bail by stealing perfume from Debenhams in Falkirk’s Howgate Centre on April 7 last year and assaulting a member of staff.

Ford is already subject to a community payback order, but Mr Bryson urged she be given another community based sentence.

He said: “She knows if she does not comply with that option she will be facing custody. She is well aware she could end up in prison for a very long time indeed.”

Sheriff John Mundy told the 28-year-old: “We seem to be seeing each other quite a lot.

“I’m going to give you the chance of a structured deferred sentence. It’s up to you. Let me down and I can tell you it’s looking like two and a half years in custody.”

Ford will be expected to fully comply with the terms of her current order and her progress with her latest sentence will be reviewed on December 15.