A 38-year-old Dubbo woman who took a $169 handbag from a Parramatta Myer store and walked out without paying for it — while she was on parole for similar offences — has avoided being sent back to prison.
In Dubbo Local Court last Wednesday, Melanie Crawt, of Houston Drive, pleaded guilty to one larceny charge after she was seen taking the pink Guess handbag on CCTV on December 23.
In an interview with police she said wanted to give the handbag to her mother.
The handbag was returned and Myer sought no compensation.
A furious police prosecutor told the court Crawt "will not stop committing larceny offences".
"She gets out and a matter of weeks later, she's doing the exact same thing," he said.
"Here she is committing the exact same crime she's on parole for and community corrections do nothing."
Ms Crawt's legal representative disagreed and said Crawft had shown commitment to her rehabilitation.
"Community protection will only come from dealing with the reason for the offending," she said.
"To send her back into custody will regress the progress that has been made."
Magistrate Gary Wilson found Crawt guilty of larceny and placed her on a community corrections order for 12 months.
She must also complete 150 hours of community service.
"I'm going to afford you the opportunity to continue the positive things you've been doing," Magistrate Wilson said.