ONE of the town's most prolific shoplifters, making her 70th appearance at Barnsley Magistrates' Court, has been jailed for 48 weeks.

Patricia Helen Siddall, 46, was jailed after being accused of being defeated by her battle with heroin addiction.

District Judge John Foster said: "You appear to have lost the battle with drugs and you're ambivalent about dealing with the problem.

"It's your life and you have chosen to live it. People who continue to behave dishonestly have to be punished. You have an appalling criminal record.

"Courts always seriously consider how to deal with people with drug problems. It's quite clear courts have given you opportunities including conditional discharges, community orders and suspended prison sentences."

Philip Howard, defending, said Siddall, of Malham Court, Barnsley, had spent as much time in prison as she had outside over the last 30 years.

He urged Mr Foster to give her a daytime curfew to stop her stealing from shops.

Mr Howard said: "I cannot get around the fact that she is a prolific offender. She has been sent to prison seven times in the last 18 months.

"She is intelligent but has a deep-seated heroin addiction. People who know she has difficulties with shoplifting prevail on her to commit offences to help them and so she can get money to buy drugs.

"The cycle of committing crime because of her drug addiction, going to prison, coming out and committing more offences must be broken."

Joanne Lewis-Crooks, prosecuting, said Siddall was caught stealing at Wilkinson because she was recognised by a member of staff.

Other thefts at Boots were caught on closed circuit television. Siddall admitted three thefts.