A Woonona whiskey thief with a tap water budget has narrowly avoided time behind bars after she nicked $277 worth of booze from Dan Murphy's.
Repeat property offender Alisha Brown was sentenced at Wollongong Local Court on Tuesday, after she pleaded guilty to shoplifting at the Flinders Street, North Wollongong bottle shop on June 16.
The 30-year-old mother entered the store about 6.45pm and was caught on CCTV making her way through the aisles as she brazenly placed two bottles of expensive whiskey into a canvas carry bag.
One was a bottle of Pearse Lyons 12 year worth $122, and the other, a bottle of Oban Malt Liquor worth $155.
Brown left the store without paying, with the suspicions of staff raised, prompting them to contact police and hand over the in-store footage.
Officers easily identified Brown due to past dealings, and as a result of her crimes, she copped a 12-month ban from Dan Murphy's.
Brown's lawyer Paul Payne argued his client had struggled with drug addiction and recently started rehabilitation for the first time.
Mr Payne conceded the threshold of whether she should be imprisoned had been crossed due to her record and the fact she was on community-based orders for like offending.
Magistrate Mark Douglass spared Brown jail time, imposing a seven-month sentence to be served by way of an intensive correction order.
She will be supervised by community corrections and must participate in a mental health assessment.