A SERIAL shoplifter celebrated not being jailed by leaving Court and stealing a bottle of vodka.

Joan Meiklejohn had been worried about a jail sentence when she appeared at Dunfermline Sheriff Court.

When she avoided prison, she went to the nearby Kingsgate Centre and was caught shoplifting again.

Meiklejohn, 46, of Lumphinnans Road, Lochgelly, was back in the dock as a result.

She admitted that on July 17, at Marks and Spencer’s Dunfermline store, she stole a bottle of vodka.

Meiklejohn was previously banned from the Kingsgate Centre because of her shoplifting activities.

Defence solicitor, Danielle Valera, said: “That day she appeared in Court for analogous offences and was admonished for some of them.

"Sentence was deferred on others until October.

“She had been anxious that day that she might receive a custodial sentence. She took Valium to calm herself down.

“When she left Court, she found herself in the shopping centre. She can’t remember being there.

“Her position is the offence wasn’t planned and she regrets her actions. She is disappointed with herself.”

Sheriff Craig McSherry imposed a structured deferred sentence and Meiklejohn will return to Court again on November 13.

However, the Sheriff warned her that if she was caught shoplifting before then she can expect an eight-month jail term.