Serial Ice-Cream Thief Has Last Taste of Freedom for Four Months

Ballarat Court HouseA Ballarat ice-cream thief has been sentenced to four months in jail for repeat offences. Shelley Ann McBain, 38, was jailed yesterday after pleading guilty to a string of charges that included stealing ice-creams from two supermarkets on the same evening.

Ballarat Magistrates Court heard that McBain, who served a nine-month sentence for similar offences last year, went to the Coles Supermarket on Victoria Street on December 29 last year and stole ‘Drumstick’ ice-creams. Police prosecutor Senior Constable Pepe Brown said McBain was chased from the store, but managed to flee. The court heard McBain then went the IGA supermarket on Norman Street, where she stole more ice-creams.

Senior Constable Brown told the court McBain and a co-accused, Robert Bartley, also stole security systems valued at more than $2000 from Wendouree’s Masters Home Improvement store on two occasions in February this year.

Mike Wardell, for McBain, said his client was in stable accommodation last year after being released from jail. But Mr Wardell said McBain again found herself in a “destructive” relationship with her co-accused, Bartley. “Sadly she’s in a relationship which the family think is destructive for her,” Mr Wardell said. Mr Wardell said there was a direct link between McBain’s relationship with Bartley and her offending.

The court heard Bartley was jailed for two months in February after pleading guilty to the theft of the security systems. Mr Wardell said McBain was supported by a “tremendous” family – including her parents, who were in court. Magistrate Cynthia Toose said there was no alternative to prison for McBain, adding “the message doesn’t seem to get through”. McBain has already served 11 days in custody.

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