Repeat offender avoids jail over series of thefts

Shelley McBain.

Shelley McBain.

A Ballarat woman has avoided jail after being charged with theft offences.

Shelley McBain, 42, appeared in the Ballarat Magistrates' Court on Tuesday in relation to the thefts, including stealing a bicycle.

The court heard McBain had struggled with a heroin addiction for years, often resorting to stealing groceries and cosmetics for her personal use.

McBain’s defence lawyer pushed for a community corrections order to be imposed, saying a jail sentence would “make things difficult when she comes out again”.

Magistrate Gregory Robinson said McBain appeared physically healthier than in previous court appearances but added she must stop re-offending.

“At some point the rubber is going to hit the road and she’s going to go to jail,” he said.

“While it’s low level theft … she just can’t have the luxury of getting away with it.”

McBain was placed on a community corrections order for two years.

She will appear in court again in May.