Burglar spotted by lorry driver as she struggled to get stolen golf trolley in car

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First published in News Redditch Advertiser: Photograph of the Author by

A WOMAN who went on a night-time burglary expedition in Alvechurch was spotted by a lorry driver as she loaded stolen goods into the boot of her car.

Francesca Gemeli, aged 40, who had a drug addiction and a long record of previous convictions for theft, pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court to two burglaries.

The first was when she stole an electric golf trolley from a garage at Dolphin Farm, Alvechurch, when a garage door was mistakenly left open.

The other was food taken from an outhouse at nearby charitable premises designed to help the homeless, said Michael Conry, prosecuting.

Gemeli, of Redhill Close, Studley, who pleaded guilty, was put on probation for 12 months and ordered to undergo a thinking skills programme. She must also pay a victim impact surcharge of £60 and observe a 7pm to 6am curfew for four months.

Mr Conry said Gemeli was seen by lorry driver Russell Sprigg as she struggled to load the golf trolley into her car. The burglaries had been carried out overnight on January 7. Gemeli made a "cock and bull" story when she was arrested.

Her record contained 22 offences of theft and 13 drug convictions.

Charles Hamer, for Gemeli, described her as a low-level regular offender with a long-time drug addiction. But she had spent the equivalent of seven months in custody while on remand.

Judge Robert Juckes QC said he felt that drugs were at the bottom of all the offences. But he was taking the time spent in custody into account in making the sentence.

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