A 60-YEAR-OLD woman, believed to have suffered from kleptomania, was found guilty in the District Court yesterday of a spate of pickpocketing at the Wong Tai Sin Temple in February. Au Lai-yung, who was expelled from the territory to China in 1948 for being destitute, had 37 previous convictions. After a three-day trial, Au was convicted of five counts of theft and one count of being equipped for stealing. Judge Chua had earlier ruled that Au had no case to answer on two other counts of theft. Au, who elected not to give evidence, pleaded not guilty to all charges. Prosecutor Peter Callaghan told the court Au committed the offences on February 6 in a crowded temple. The court heard that one of the worshippers, So Ling-ching, realised at 3.15 pm that somebody had unzipped her handbag and taken her wallet. Shortly afterwards, Ms So saw a woman, later found to be Au, speaking to police officers. Au had been stopped after she was seen acting suspiciously. At this time, Ms So saw her wallet in Au's handbag. One of the officers searched Au's handbag and retrieved a wallet. She was then arrested. In the police station, the officers noticed Au had dropped something on the floor - a razor blade wrapped in tissue paper. The police also found other stolen wallets, a Walkman, a calculator and more than $16,000 cash inside the handbag. Judge Chua told the court she was satisfied that Ms So's wallet was in Au's handbag at the time and that Au had tried to throw away the razor blade which she had used to take a wallet from a another victim's shoulder bag. Solicitor John Pickavant said Au's husband died 12 years ago in a road accident, leaving Au to support their five children. Mr Pickavant said his client, who had suffered schizophrenia since 1972, relapsed from time to time. He also urged the court to considered her old age and failing health. The court heard Au, who was also a voluntary worker, owned a flat and a shop. He suggested Au might have suffered from kleptomania because it was unnecessary for her to steal. Sentencing was adjourned until January 3 to allow time to prepare psychiatric and probation reports.