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Thief jailed after stealing products worth hundreds of pounds just months after prison release

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A thief has been jailed after stealing hundreds of pounds worth of products just months after her release from prison.Melissa Hopkins, 40, appeared at Lynn Magistrates’ Court on Thursday via a video link from HMP Peterborough.She pleaded guilty to four counts of theft from a shop, as well as one count of attempted theft.

Melissa Hopkins was jailed by Lynn magistrates on Thursday

Crown prosecutor Colette Harper outlined Hopkins’ offences to the court.On November 11, she tried to steal a variety of items worth a combined £69 from B&M in Lynn. However, these were recovered.On November 26, she pinched fragrance gift sets from Superdrug in the town. The value of these was not determined.The following day, she returned to the same premises and took more of the same products, this time worth £388.After that, she entered Boots and made off with £768 worth of gift sets.Finally, on November 27, she stole £347.20 worth of toys from The Entertainer in Lynn’s Vancouver Quarter.Hopkins was jailed for five years and three months in 2020, and had been released on licence at the time of her most recent offences.She had therefore been recalled to prison, hence her appearance in court via video link.Magistrates, led by Louise Barber, handed Hopkins a three-week prison sentence for each of her thefts. She will serve them concurrently.Due to her means, she was also ordered to pay reduced compensation amounts of £200 to The Entertainer, £200 to Superdrug and £400 to Boots.Mitigating, duty solicitor Andrew Cogan said Hopkins, of Washway Road in Holbeach, Lincolnshire, initially managed to “stay out of trouble” until November after being released from prison in May last year.However, in that time, she did suffer from a series of mental health lapses, and had several psychotic episodes.“She is completely at a loss to explain how she came to commit these offences,” Mr Cogan said.

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