A ZIMBABWEAN woman has avoided jail despite stealing more than £1,000 worth of ink cartridges from city stores.
Sibonginkose Sibanda, of Athlone Grove in Leeds, took £768.89 worth of the stationary from Staples on Shrub Hill and then a further £309.95 worth from PC World on Tybridge Street on March 4.
Just after 12.15pm the 32-year-old was seen entering Staples in a blue nurses outfit before she went over to a display of ink cartridges and filled her basket with them, Worcester Magistrates Court heard last Friday (September 26).
Sibanda, together with a co-defendant, moved away from the display and put the items into a foil-lined bag and left the store.
Shortly after the pair went into PC World and CCTV caught them stealing the cartridges, although the court was also told it was the co-defendant who was carrying the bag this time.
Just after 1pm police stopped a Volkswagen Golf between Junction 7 and 8 of the M5 and Sibanda was in the back of the car with a Morrisons carrier bag full of the stolen products next to her.
Defending solicitor Mark Sheward said: “She came to this country from Zimbabwe seven years ago and she’s not entitled to any benefits, she can’t work so she can’t feed herself or provide for herself.
“She tells me most of these offences were committed through necessity to provide for herself.”
Sibanda was given a ten-week prison sentence, on each offence to run concurrently, suspended for a period of 12 months, a 12-month community order with supervision and ordered to complete 200 hours of unpaid work.
She was also ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £80 and a forfeiture and destruction order was made for the foil-lined bag.