A SERIAL offender who has breached stringent court orders 20 times has been given a new chance to turn her life around by magistrates.

Sheila McGibbon was ordered to comply with a series of restrictions – including not urinating in public and staying away from Christchurch town centre – as part of a five-year criminal behaviour order handed to her in August 2017.

However, since that date the 52-year-old, who lives in Grand Avenue, Southbourne, has returned to court numerous times to admit breaching the order.

On Wednesday, McGibbon admitted two further breaches at Poole Magistrates' Court. The first happened in Purewell on April 26 when she was drunk in public and had an open can of alcohol. On May 18, she was seen drunk and urinating publicly in Park Gardens, Christchurch.

David Finney, prosecuting, said most of the defendant's record relates to breaches of the criminal behaviour order, breaches of a previous anti-social behaviour order and being drunk and disorderly.

The court heard the most recent flouting of the order brings the number of breaches to 20.

McGibbon is now due to start working with the Footprints Project. The charity mentors men and women who are leaving prison or serving a community sentence and are returning to Dorset, Somerset and Hampshire.

Telling the court, "We want to try and get to the end of this [offending]", presiding magistrate Cyril Bishop agreed to give McGibbon a chance to start working with the charity.

"We're hoping that you can work through this. We really, really do," he told the defendant.

"This is an opportunity. We've looked at your record and we're here to deal with the breaches of the order."

Although McGibbon has a "hell of a record", magistrates decided to give the defendant a "last try", Mr Bishop said.

"We know it's difficult but if you can work towards it, we hope you won't be spending your weekends in prison," he told McGibbon.

The defendant was fined £50 for each breach. However, as she has been in custody it will count as 'time served' and she won't have to pay.

Previous McGibbon has admitted being intoxicated in Purewell on January 14. Two days earlier, McGibbon had an open container of alcohol in the area.

Last October, she admitted seven counts of breaching the order.

On that occasion, the court heard she had been in possession of an open container of alcohol in public, was in a state of drunkenness in Mudeford, visited Bargates and was drunk in the car park of Poole Hospital's maternity unit.

McGibbon was sentenced to the order after she was convicted of being drunk and disorderly.

It prohibits her from being in a state of drunkenness in a public place in Dorset or in possession of alcohol in public in Bournemouth and Christchurch.

Under the order, McGibbon also can't act in a manner that causes distress or annoyance to people in the two boroughs or urinate or defecate in a public place except for public toilets.

If asked to leave any premises in Bournemouth or Christchurch, she must do so. She also can't enter Christchurch town centre unless she is passing through on public transport.