A PREGNANT kettle thief has been jailed for 11 weeks.

Magistrates heard Kathleen Shiel, said to be 10 weeks off her due date, had a history of failing to keep appointments with the probation service.

Despite the advice of probation officers there was little option except a short spell in prison, defence solicitor Sam Arif tried to persuade JPs to stop short of sending her client to jail.

It was unsurprising that 33-year-old Shiel had struggled to keep appointments, as she was sleeping rough in car parks and there had been complications with her pregnancy, said Ms Arif. However, she was now staying in a shared house in Cricklade owned by her mother’s friend.

Shiel, of Commonhill, Cricklade, had admitted four shoplifting offences and breaching the terms of post-sentence supervision and community orders.

Graham Dono, prosecuting, said Shiel had raided Wilko twice in a day on May 21, each time stealing a kettle. Two days later she was back at the town centre store, taking coffee, tea, sugar and a knife set.

Earlier in the year, on February 28, she was stopped outside B&M Bargains by staff after she walked out with a £100 vacuum cleaner. “The defendant was on foot and told him [the member of staff] in no uncertain terms to ‘f*** off’,” said Mr Dono. Shiel dropped the vacuum cleaner and hid behind a wall.

JPs sentenced her to 11 weeks imprisonment.