Judge lets off career criminal with 100 theft offences again

Career criminal with 100 theft offences walks free AGAIN after judge fails to enact suspended prison sentence

Drug addict Sundee Spaulding promised was given ‘one last chance’ when she last appeared before the court for theft
25-year-old had been serving 12 month suspended jail term for previous thefts when she went on shoplifting spree
Judge Carol Hagen told Spaulding has had ‘just about every sentence the court could possible give her’
Judge Hagen decided it was not ‘in the interests of justice’ to jail the repeat offender
Mother-of-one given yet another 12-month supervision order as well as a curfew and a six month drugs rehabilitation order

By Tom Gardner
PUBLISHED: 17:47, 18 May 2012 | UPDATED: 19:32, 18 May 2012

A career criminal with more than 100 offences has again walked free from court, despite getting a ‘last chance’ from the same judge two years ago.

Judge Carol Hagen decided it was ‘not in the interests of justice’ to enact the suspended sentence drug addict Sundee Spaulding had been serving during her shoplifting spree.

The mother-of-one, 25, already has 33 convictions for more than 100 theft-related and dishonesty crimes.

But Judge Hagen gave her one ‘final chance’ and let her walk free – even though she had broken her supposed ‘last chance’ given after her last conviction.

She told Spaulding: ‘You present me with a real problem Sundee Spaulding. You commit offence after offence and always there is some excuse on your part.

‘The question for me is do I send you to prison or not. I am persuaded that it is in the interests of justice that I do not activate that suspended sentence.

‘It seems to me to offer the best chance at this point in time to dissuade you from committing further criminal offences.

‘I’m giving you a final chance. If any of these conditions I impose are breached you are going to prison for 12 months.

‘This is a real opportunity.’

Bristol Crown Court was told Spaulding had stolen two meat joints from a Co-op, in Avonmouth, Somerset, on April 12.

After handing herself in to police, Spaulding, from Shirehampton, Bristol, then tried to steal £241 worth of shopping from a nearby Asda in nearby Patchway.

It was only when she tried to exit the store through a closed door and security guards approached her to tell her which door to leave by, that the theft was spotted.

Nadeem Aullybocus, prosecuting, said: ‘Miss Spaulding has 33 convictions for an impressive 100 offences.

‘The defendant has had every single sentence the court could possibly give her. Alongside the thefts she has also breached her suspended sentence.

‘This is not the first time she has done this.’

Spaulding was given eight months suspended prison sentence by Judge Hagen in 2010 for handling stolen goods and shoplifting.

On that occasion Neil Treharne, defending Spaulding, said: ‘She’s well aware that this is her last chance.’

Mr Treharne, again representing Spaulding today, asked the judge to give his client a spell at outreach centre Eden House Project instead of jail.

Defending, Neil Treharne, said: ‘The Eden House Project is a very worthwhile project.

‘I have seen great success in the past and on this occasion I really think that Sundee is motivated and she would succeed.

‘I do see a vast change where she has gained an attitude where she wants to address the issues that she has.

‘The evidence for this is that she gave a negative reading for drugs when she was arrested.’

Judge Hagen backed the plea and handed Spaulding a ‘strict’ community order with numerous conditions attached including attending the Eden House Project.

She was also given a 12-month community order, a 12-month supervision order and a six month drugs rehabilitation order.

Spaulding also ordered to abide by a two month curfew from 8pm to 7am.

Judge Hagen has previously been criticised for declining to send serious offenders to jail.

Last year she refused to send prolific burglar Jason Reed to jail – before he went on to steal from 22 more homes.

She then cut his jail term, after he was finally imprisoned.

In 2010 she failed to send carer Jane Hoy to prison for stealing from one of her patients – despite describing her offence as a ‘gross breach of trust targeting a vulnerable victim’.

Victim Lorraine Andrews said she had been left ‘absolutely gobsmacked’ by the decision.

She was criticised in 2010 after a man who stabbed a neighbour over a text message to his girlfriend and a man with 3,400 indecent images of children both avoided custody.

In February this year, jewel thief Mikey Rush, of Withywood, Bristol, was spared jail despite stealing £20,000-worth of goods from 11 shops.

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