A PROLIFIC thief with more than 40 convictions has had more than £1,500 wiped off her court bill.

Nicola Duke, who is banned from shops in Barrow town centre and a number of retail parks, appeared at South Cumbria Magistrates' Court.

The court was told the 39-year-old has £5,909.47 of fines to her name. She was given further time to pay and has had £1,550 taken off due to a change of circumstances.

The court told her to pay it off at a rate of £20 per month, starting on November 13.

She last appeared in court in June on two charges of shoplifting after stealing hundreds of pounds of items from two shops in Barrow.

The court was told she stole more than £150 of clothes from Marks and Spencers before trying to take more than £200 worth of items from B&M Bargains.

Duke, of Windrush Crescent, was sentenced to 21 days in prison for each of the offences.

In mitigation, solicitor Michael Graham said Duke had been struggling with a number of problems in her life.

He said: “She was homeless at the time.

“Her benefits claim had been denied because someone else tried to make a claim in her name."