SALEM — A Swampscott woman who blames post-traumatic stress disorder for a string of fraud and larceny cases will spend about another month in jail, after pleading guilty yesterday to the latest charges against her.
Prosecutors and a probation officer were seeking more time for Janine Wilson, 33, of 5 Alvin Road, pointing to her string of new arrests after she was given the opportunity to keep her record clean — twice.
Wilson had been given a continuation without a finding on charges that she stole a credit card from a customer on her dog-walking route and used it to buy liquor, food and clothes. Then, while still on probation in that case, she was charged with passing a bad check at one store and stealing a dress from another.
In January, after a judge gave her another chance at avoiding a permanent record by continuing the two newer cases without a finding, she was arrested a week later, charged with shoplifting a wallet from a downtown Salem store.
Two weeks after that, she was charged again, this time with altering prescriptions at a Target pharmacy.
Prosecutor Alex Grimes said Wilson’s “spurt of larcenous and fraud-type activities” merits additional jail time.
“There should be a punitive aspect,” Grimes said.
He argued that it shows disrespect to the court for her to “accept a continuation without a finding and almost immediately commit new crimes.”
Her attorney, Richard Callahan, said his client needs treatment, not a trip back to MCI Framingham, the state prison for women. “Clearly, she has issues.”
Wilson has spent about a month in custody following her most recent arrests.
Judge Robert Brennan imposed a 120-day jail term, along with two years of probation that will include high-supervision probation, mental health and substance abuse evaluations and treatment. She will be eligible for parole after completing 60 days of that sentence.
Wilson, through her attorney and in an email to the newspaper last year, blamed her actions on post-traumatic stress disorder that she says was caused when she crashed head-on into a truck on Marlborough Road in Salem in 2009. Police at the time said Wilson crossed the center lines and hit the truck, leaving her trapped in the wreckage.
Courts reporter Julie Manganis can be reached at 978-338-2521, via email at email@example.com or on Twitter @SNJulieManganis.