Magistrate suspects serial thief has kleptomania

A MAGISTRATE has expressed remorse towards a serial thief with a "long, long history" of shoplifting and suspected she had an illness which forced her to steal.

Susan Lynette Hedegaard, 64, appeared in Maryborough Magistrates Court on Tuesday to be sentenced for stealing offences.

Magistrate John Parker said he thought Hedegaard could have kleptomania, which is a recognised condition of not being able to stop yourself from stealing.

"I have a certain degree of sympathy for you, I believe some of this is beyond your control," Mr Parker said.

"She seems to be spending her life in jail."

The former nurse often targets small-value goods, for example lollies or sausage rolls.

The Hervey Bay retiree will be eligible for parole on April 9.

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