A SEBASTOPOL woman with a penchant for sweet treats and theft received a suspended jail term yesterday.
Jessica Strebs, 19, appeared in Ballarat Magistrates Court where she pleaded guilty to a string of charges including four counts of shop-theft, unlawful assault and wilfully trespassing in a public place.
Strebs was arrested in the disabled toilets at the Coles Supermarket in Little Bridge Street on Monday night, where she was found with spoons and a white powder.
The court heard Strebs was wanted for questioning related to numerous offences dating back to November last year.
Police prosecutor Senior Constable Steve Kent told the court that on two occasions, Strebs went to Robbins Bakery in Stockland Wendouree, where she stole lamingtons and cakes.
In one incident, when the bakery was closed, Strebs lay across the counter in order to grab a tray of cakes valued at $100.
On two other occasions, Strebs went to the Woolworths Supermarket in Eastwood Street where she stole numerous grocery items.
The court heard that on both occasions Strebs abused staff members, before fleeing with the stolen items.
After her arrest, Strebs admitted to police that she had a problem with shoplifting.
The unlawful assault charge stemmed from an incident at the Little Bridge Street bus stop this year when Strebs threw a cup of bourbon on a bus driver who refused her entry on the bus.
Strebs’ defence lawyer said she could not remember the offence, and said she was looking forward to starting a TAFE course in September.
Magistrate Ian Von Einem said Strebs’ offending had reached the “serious stage”, sentencing her to three months’ jail, suspended for 12 months.
“If she wants to continue on this spending spree, she can go to jail for three months,” Mr Von Einem said.