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Michael Kors bag thief Joanne Jones facing tough court order to stop her offending


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A prolific thief described as a "one-woman crimewave" faces being hit with a new-style Asbo following her latest shoplifting spree.

Joanne Jones, who once admitted “if I see it and like it, I’ll nick it”, stole six designer handbags worth almost £2,000 during several trips to the Michael Kors store in Ashford.

Joanne Jones pictured at her mum's Canterbury home in 2014
Joanne Jones pictured at her mum's Canterbury home in 2014

The 45-year-old drug addict - who is banned from almost every shop in her traditional hunting ground of Canterbury - was so brazen she even targeted the McArthur Glen outlet on three consecutive days, walking off with five £350 bags.

The thefts add to the hundreds of convictions Jones has already racked up, with the total already at 235 by the time she was 37.

But despite the scale of her offending, and the court considering her a “prolific offender”, she was spared jail by magistrates.

However, the court will reconvene in December to decide whether to hit Jones with a criminal behaviour order (CBO) - a measure which replaced Asbos in 2018.

Such orders are designed to tackle the “most serious and persistent anti-social individuals”.

A CBO would would give the court power to impose a number of restrictions to stop Jones offending, such as banning her from certain areas.

A custody image of Joanne Jones from 2010
A custody image of Joanne Jones from 2010

But previous attempts to curb her criminal behaviour have been unsuccessful, with Jones having spent much of her adult life in and out of prison.

Speaking to KentOnline in 2014, she said that while she stole to fund a heroin addiction, she also did so for the thrill of it.

"I must be a kleptomaniac as well," she said. "I just do it for the rush.

“I’ll nick anything. If I see it and like it, I’ll nick it. There used to be a lot of people about in Canterbury who wanted you to nick to order.

“There don’t seem to be so many of those any more.

“I have stolen anything I’ve felt like. I’ve nicked from pound shops, places where there is no chance of selling anything on to make money. I enjoy shoplifting.”

"I’ve nicked from pound shops, places where there is no chance of selling anything on to make money. I enjoy shoplifting"

During her latest thieving spree, Jones, whose address in court was given as a Travelodge in Ashford, targeted two shops in the town - Michael Kors and B&M Bargains.

She stole a £199 bag from the designer outlet on August 12, before returning on three days straight from September 29, swiping five more bags worth £350 each.

On September 29 and October 6 she stole goods worth £126.93 from discount store B&M Bargains.

On October 10, two days after she was arrested, Jones admitted six theft charges and one of cocaine possession.

Jones stole the designer bags from the McArthur Glen outlet in Ashford Picture: Gerardo Jaconelli
Jones stole the designer bags from the McArthur Glen outlet in Ashford Picture: Gerardo Jaconelli

Magistrates gave her a 120-day prison sentence but the term was suspended for nine months, during which time she must undergo drug rehabilitation.

She was ordered to pay £899 compensation to Michael Kors, and £79.98 to B&M Bargains.

The money will be taken out of her benefits at a rate of £20 a month from January.

Magistrates in Folkestone will decide on December 2 whether to make Jones the subject of a CBO, and if so what conditions to apply.

Read more: All the latest news from Ashford

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