A mother of five who stole £25,000 worth of camera lenses by claiming she had been mugged has been spared jail.
Haynes, a student on benefits, paid nearly £1,000 to hire the equipment, calling herself a 'semi-professional' photographer.
When the lenses were due to be returned however, she went to police claiming she had been mugged in a park in Harrow.
She was convicted of two counts of theft by a jury who rejected her claims that they had been stolen by a man who snatched her bag.
Judge Peter Rook QC sentenced her to six months imprisonment, but suspended the sentence for two years after hearing she had mental health problems and significant responsibilities towards her children.
“These are serious matters. These were valuable items and in the space of about a week or so you hired a lens valued at £5,500 and another set of even more expensive lenses, valued at £20,000, with a view to disposing of them” he said.
“In my view these two thefts can only be marked by a custodial sentence.
“However, because of the various mitigating factors in this case I'm able to suspend the sentence.”
'This wasn't a lawful hire of these lenses'
The court heard that Haynes hired camera equipment from companies in Acton and Maidenhead.
Prosecutor Daniel Robinson told the trial: “This wasn't a lawful hire of these lenses, in fact what Ms Haynes did was to steal them.
"She was a novice in photography, having by her own admission never made a film before, and hired out lenses worth so much money and costing her in the region of £950.
“She was a student on benefits with a car about to be repossessed and unable to pay her phone bills.
“What she did was to steal those lenses and the cases.”
Haynes first hired a camera lens from Lenses for Hire in Maidenhead on August 22 2013.
She told the company she was hoping to photograph a sports day and that summer's Notting Hill Carnival, extending the hire saying she had enjoyed the experience.
A week later on August 30, she colllected six mini-lenses from Filmscape Media Company in Acton, claiming they were intended for a YouTube short film on domestic violence.
On August 31 last year, Haynes went to police claiming she had been mugged in Horsenden Hill, Sudbury.
“She said she was walking across a local park with the seven lenses, all in a bag, and that a man had approached her, abused her and taken the bag from her after a short struggle” said Mr Robinson.
In her statement, Haynes said she was going to catch a bus when she “heard a voice making crude comments, and eventually I heard him saying”English whore”.
She said the man grabbed her bag and she “ended up in a bush with scratches up my arms and back.”
In spiky exchanges in court, Haynes accused the prosecution of persecuting her and she found the claims against her “irritating”.
She even reportedly produced the empty lens cases in court in a bid to back up her mugging story.
However, the jury convicted her of two counts of theft, of which she denied, after less than a day's deliberation.