A serial Watford thief who had “a flagrant disregard for people and their property” has avoided jail.

Jessica Ellis, of no fixed address in Watford, was sentenced at Hatfield Magistrates' Court yesterday, April 22, over numerous theft and burglary offences committed between August 2023 and March.

The 28-year-old was handed a 36-week prison sentence suspended for 18 months, and 18 months of supervision, after she previously pleaded guilty to all charges.

The court concluded she had a "flagrant disregard for people and their property", but ordered the sentence be suspended as there was a "realistic chance of rehabilitation".

She was ordered to complete a six-month drug rehabilitation programme and no court costs were collected due to a lack of means.

Labelled a “persistent thief” by Hertfordshire Police, the Watford woman was in court over numerous crimes which included breaking into a McDonald's in Watford three times in December and February.

Over a period of months, Ellis stole an Iphone 11, a purse, including two bank cards which she later tried to use, Airbud headphones worth £100, and a charity donation box from a KFC in Watford.

She was also resentenced for an incident on August 17 last year when she took two charity boxes containing money from the Cassio Lounge in High Street, for which she originally received a community order.