Woman barred from Sheffield leisure centres for stealing from lockers

Ponds Forge International Sports Centre
Ponds Forge International Sports Centre
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A woman has been banned from all Sheffield leisure centres after prising open changing room lockers with a screwdriver and stealing valuables.

Gail Sykes stole a set of car keys from one locker while the victim was in the gym, found the vehicle in the car park and drove off.

The 36-year-old, of Brightmore Drive, Netherthorpe, was handed an eight-month suspended prison sentence at Sheffield Crown Court.

Sykes targeted Ponds Forge leisure centre on March 29 and 30 last year, and Hillsborough Leisure Centre on May 3.

At Ponds Forge, she fled with iPhones and an iPad along with purses and a wallet containing cash, store cards, debit cards and driving licenses.

Richard Thyne, prosecuting, said: “One victim said she felt very depressed because her purse had been bought for her by her boyfriend.

“Another said that she was very angry at the inconvenience it had caused.”

Sykes stole the car keys from a locker at Hillsborough Leisure Centre.

Mr Thyne said: “The Ford Fiesta motor car was taken from a car park nearby and found abandoned a few days later.”

She was traced by CCTV and arrested on May 9.

“She is 36 and has appeared before the courts on 42 previous occasions for a total of 125 offences, primarily offences of dishonesty,” said Mr Thyne.

Ian Goldsack, defending, said: “She is desperately trying to turn around what has been a very difficult life until now.

“She has been blighted by problems with drug misuse, latterly replaced with alcohol misuse, difficult relationships and the sort of offending that tends to go with that kind of lifestyle.”

Sykes admitted three counts of burglary and one of taking a motor vehicle without authority.

In addition to her suspended sentence and ban from all public leisure centres and swimming pools in Sheffield, she was given a 12-month supervision order and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £100.