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Friday, 6 December, 2002, 18:41 GMT
Ryder put on probation
Winona Ryder and her lawyer Mark Geragos
The actress was seen cutting tags off clothes
Actress Winona Ryder has escaped jail and been put on three years' supervised probation for stealing designer goods from an exclusive Hollywood store.

Her punishment includes 480 hours of community service, a $2,700 fine plus damages of $6,000 payable to store Saks.

Ryder remained silent as she was sentenced at Beverly Hills Superior Court on Friday following her conviction last month on charges of grand theft and vandalism.

Winona Ryder on Saks security video
The actress was caught on a security video
The Hollywood actress was also ordered to undergo drug and psychological counselling by the court after she was found with eight different prescription drugs when arrested.

Ryder, 31, could have faced up to three years in prison for stealing more than $5,000 worth of clothes and accessories from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills.

But Judge Elden Fox warned: "If you steal again you will go to jail. Do you understand that?"

'Intention'

Prosecutors had recommended she be given community service and drug counselling rather than a custodial sentence.


You have refused to accept personal responsibility for what happened

Judge Elden Fox
Remarking on the intense media interest in the trial, the judge said: "It is not my intention in this matter to make an example of you."

Last month, a jury found her guilty after hearing how a security officer had peered into a dressing room and watched her cutting sensor tags off merchandise.

She had then stuffed the items into her bags before walking out of the store.

In mitigation before sentencing, Ryder's solicitor Mark Geragos told the court: "She will carry the scarlet letter of 's' for shoplifter wherever she goes."

'Bad behaviour'

He said the charitable work and good deeds she had done in her life outweighed the recent "aberrant" behaviour.


She will be pretty shattered by this

BBC's David Willis
"One day of bad behaviour does not trump over a decade of what I consider exemplary work," he said.

But the judge in his sentencing said: "What is of concern to me is the fact you have refused to accept personal responsibility for what happened."

He added: "You have disappointed many people who have been entertained and inspired by your talent and acts of kindness over many years."

Ryder was ordered to carry out community service at three different charitable organisations, including a centre which cares for babies with Aids.

She was also told she could be subject to "search and seizure" 24 hours a day without warning and had to seek permission to leave the state of California.

The BBC's David Willis in Los Angeles said: "She will be pretty shattered by this.

Revealed

"This could curb her ability to travel overseas. She will need court permission to do that; to take part in other movie projects."

Community service
City of Hope
240 hours
Foundation for Junior Blind
120 hours
Caring for Babies with Aids
120 hours

Ryder remained silent throughout the trial but during sentencing she leapt to her feet after Deputy District Attorney Ann Rundle accused the defense of "trotting out the dead body" of a child as part of its mitigation.

The defence had referred to Ryder's offer of a reward and publicity efforts to find the 12-year-old girl from Petaluma, California, who was later found murdered.

Ryder had denied the shoplifting allegations.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's David Willis
"Shoplifting turned soap opera"
The BBC's Phil Williams
"It will be quite difficult work, certainly not what she's used to"


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