May's defence barrister, Gareth Burrows, told the court she had no previous convictions.
He said: "There's a lot of mitigation in this case. There's a history of growing up in care.
"She had been purchasing things on the internet in a compulsive way.
"She does not have a home at the moment and is moving into a hostel. She is currently living with her partner.
"She has in part paid back some of the money and continues to do so. "It's against that background that I ask you to consider a suspended sentence."Growing up in care shouldn’t provide a ‘get out of jail free’ card when you turn out to be a thief.
And compulsive buying isn’t a problem, unless you’re doing it with other people’s money.
Paying back some of the money is great, but how much?
Judge Laing QC said that because May was of previously good character she would ask for a pre-sentence report.
But she told May: "Please don't take that as any indication as to the final outcome of this case.
"The figures involved in this case mean it's likely a custodial sentence will be the outcome."
May was released to re-appear at Lewes Crown Court on March 14, when she will be sentenced.One to watch…