A PROLIFIC Southampton criminal with almost 200 previous offences is facing a spell behind bars after committing a spate of purse thefts in the city.

Kelly Marie Loader, 40, stole purses from six women and handbags from two others between May and September last year.

She then attempted to use bank cards from the purses of three of her victims in shops.

Now Loader, who has more than 100 previous offences involving theft and similar offences, as well as dozens of other offences, has admitted her most recent crime spree.

Appearing at Southampton Crown Court, Loader, who has 196 offences against her name, pleaded guilty to a total 14 new of offences, including six purse thefts and two handbag thefts.

She also admitted thefts from Southampton stores Poundland in May and Superdry in September, as well as an attempted theft and three counts of bank card fraud, which all took place in September.

Loader, of Olive Road, Southampton was told she faces the possibility of a prison sentence by a judge, who described her most recent spate of offences “very unpleasant”.

But he postponed sentencing until March 12, at Southampton Crown Court, to allow probation to put together a pre-sentence report on Loader.

Judge Peter Henry said: “I will order a pre-sentence report but with your appalling record and the sheer number of offences, and very unpleasant offences, a custodial sentence is extremely likely.”