A WOMAN who stole groceries at a Wagga supermarket then intimidated staff has been spared jail and ordered to do community service work.
Turvey Park woman Katie Lee Burgess, 36, appeared in Wagga Local Court on Friday when she was sentenced to a nine-month intensive corrections order after pleading guilty to larceny and intimidation.
Court documents state that Burgess went to ALDI in Wagga on July 23 and placed $52.20 worth of items in a bag.
She then walked out of the store without paying.
Staff members noticed and pressed the alarm before they followed her out of the store.
One of the workers asked her to show a receipt, but she refused and became verbally abusive.
The worker grabbed the bag and pulled it away from Burgess, who then made a phone call and said words to the effect of "I've got a lad I can get onto you" while continuing to swear at him.
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An off-duty police officer saw the incident and identified herself to Burgess.
The officer then called police. When Burgess saw a police car turn onto Berry Street, she ran from the location but was arrested a short time later on Morgan Street.
In a police interview, she said "I know I stole and I'm admitting that".
She denied intimidating the victim but said "I even threatened him after he touched me".
"I said 'I know who you are'," court documents state.
In court, magistrate Christopher Halburd said such incidents were becoming more common and that the message about deterrence needs to get out to the community.
"Threatening people who are just working in shops after you've just stolen from the shops will be treated harshly by the courts," he said.
"An ICO [intensive correction order] is a form of punishment ... but the supervision is there to help with underlying problems."
Burgess will carry out 80 hours of community service work and ordered to not enter the Wagga ALDI store.
She has also been ordered to abstain from illicit substances and alcohol.