A PROLIFIC criminal with 57 previous convictions for theft offences has admitted a fresh spree of burglaries at homes across Oxford.

Shelley Branson appeared from behind the dock at Oxford Crown Court yesterday facing two counts of burglary and one of assault by beating.

The 46-year-old of The Cricketers, Axminster, Devon, pleaded guilty to burgling at house at Banbury Road, Oxford, on August 22 and stealing cash therein.

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She also pleaded guilty to another count of stealing cosmetics and jewellery in a burglary at a house at Three Fields, Oxford, on September 4, as well as assaulting a woman on the same day.

After the guilty pleas had been entered she also asked for other offences - an attempted burglary and another burglary, both at Bassett Road, Oxford, on September 3, to be taken into account in her sentencing.

The court went on to hear that Branson has a long history of previous convictions, including 25 fraud matters and 57 for theft-related offences, including burglary.

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She was also subject to a previously imposed community order at the time of the latest set of offences.

Her defence barrister Peter Du Feu said that his client had an 'underlying and long term class A drug problem'.

He asked to adjourn sentencing so that a pre-sentence report could be prepared by the National Probation Service to explore all sentencing options.

He said: "I am asking for a pre-sentence report to furnish the court with as much information as possible about this very troubled 46-year-old."

Presiding Judge Nigel Daly agreed to adjourn sentencing so that a report could be prepared and Branson was remanded in custody in the meantime.

Her final sentencing hearing is expected to take place at the same court on November 5.