A single mother has narrowly escaped jail time after scamming Queensland supermarkets for three months.
Kylie Milner, 35, from Ipswich, was caught out gluing fake barcodes for 65c two-minute noodles to thousands of dollars worth of stolen grocery items, the Queensland Times reported.
She defrauded Coles and Woolworths stores from Booval to Springfield, to collect a grand sum of more than $4500.
Self-service check outs were instrumental in Milner’s elaborate scam and she would use them sometimes twice a day to collect her varied bounty of meet, coffee machines, protein powder, toilet paper, disinfectant and sheet sets.
Eventually staff cottoned on after noticing a nervous "regular female customer".
In court, Milner explained she was struggling to cope under a "mountain of debt" left by her estranged husband.
"All her problems started when her husband walked out on her and left her with a mortgage (and) a mountain of debt and left her to raise their daughter on their own," her sister Michelle wrote to the court.
"She is really trying to turn her life around."
Her sister-in-law also came to her defence, according to the Daily Mail, writing, "she made some very bad decisions at a time of desperation."
She described her as a "beautiful, loving, caring good individual who just made some wrong choices in life".
Milner pleaded guilty to 31 counts of fraud, three counts of attempted fraud and one count of possessing a drug related utensil and received a nine month suspended jail sentence, the Queensland Times reported.
She was also fined $150 and asked to pay $1545 in restitution to Coles and $2070 to Woolworths.