A LOCHGELLY woman with a lengthy record of shoplifting offences has been caught stealing again.

Joan Meiklejohn, 49, of Lumphinnans Road, struck twice at the same shop within three days.

She has admitted that on April 18 and 20, at the Co-op store, Bank Street, Lochgelly, she stole a quantity of alcohol.

Meiklejohn has an “atrocious” record and has been a regular attender at court in recent years but did not appear in person on this occasion because of “stress”.

Defence solicitor Lewis Faulds said his client had written a letter to the sheriff.

He said she had not been able to attend “because of the stress involved in coming to court”.

He added: “She’s quite an unfortunate soul and someone who is vulnerable.”

Sheriff Mark O’Hanlon commented: “She’s clearly asking for help.”

He called for reports and Meiklejohn will be sentenced on August 10.

In June last year, Sheriff Alastair Brown told Meiklejohn: “Your record is atrocious. People who run shops are entitled to the protection of the courts.”

This year, Meiklejohn again avoided a jail sentence and Sheriff Susan Duff told her that at 49 it was time she changed her ways.

However, after leaving court that day, Meiklejohn was caught stealing alcohol from Marks and Spencer.

Sheriff David Hall then commented: “I see she’s on a community payback order already and it was imposed the same day of this offence. She must have been celebrating.”