Marie Wanless banned from entering all Gunnedah shops after shoplifting charge

Sentence adjourned: Magistrate Roger Prowse told the court Marie Wanless was an unacceptable risk of further offending and failing to appear.
Sentence adjourned: Magistrate Roger Prowse told the court Marie Wanless was an unacceptable risk of further offending and failing to appear.

A MAGISTRATE has banned a woman from entering every shop in the whole town because he says she's a risk of shoplifting.

Marie Wanless agreed to stay out of every retail outlet in Gunnedah, NSW, if she wanted to be released on bail.

Magistrate Roger Prowse told Tamworth Local Court that Wanless had a history of offending, was on conditional liberty on two bonds and "commits another" offence.

He said "her propensity" to shoplift and "her continuing to commit offences against the community" meant the offending was serious.

If she doesn't go into retail premises, she can't flog anything.

Magistrate Roger Prowse

"If she doesn't go into retail premises, she can't flog anything," he said.

"The good business people of Gunnedah might like that ... as opposed to the coffers being ripped from them."

The court heard the Gunnedah woman had failed to turn up to court, not once but twice. After the first time the court wrote to her to remind her, and even after receiving a written notification she didn't show, and was convicted in her absence by the Gunnedah magistrate.

It was only when police went knocking, after a warrant was issued for her arrest, that she was taken into custody, and transferred to Tamworth.

"She quite honestly tells me she forgot," Legal Aid solicitor Wendy McAuliffe said.

She lodged the bid for bail, adding Wanless was caring for a family member who had a fall, and medical conditions herself.

She said Wanless had been convicted in her absence of larceny of a $20 pair of sunglasses, so "in terms of objective seriousness", it wasn't high.

The court heard Wanless' offending while on two community correctional orders, or bonds, had triggered breaches. Police prosecutor Sergeant Jodie Westman also opposed bail, submitting Wanless was an unacceptable risk.

Mr Prowse acknowledged Wanless was an unacceptable risk of failing to appear, and committing further serious offences but that "can be ameliorated" by reporting everyday to police and not entering any shop "for any reason, whatsoever".

"Once this gets around Gunnedah ... everybody will be on the watch out, all the shopkeepers will be on the watch out," he told her.

The case was adjourned to August with the bonds called up for re-sentencing.