Couple fined for stealing

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A COUPLE went into a shop and stole four boxes of laundry tablets.

Claire Ross, 27, and Stephen David Ross, 42, went into Bargain Booze, in the Belle Vue area of Hartlepool, and picked up the boxes of washing tablets, worth £12, from the shelves and decided to steal them.

Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court heard that the store owner saw the pair and challenged them and managed to retrieve the bag of goods from them.

Prosecuting, Lynne Dalton said: “It was shortly before 8pm when the defendants entered Bargain Booze and selected four boxes of laundry tablets which was witnessed by the shop owner. He challenged them and managed to retrieve the bag from them.

“They left the store and they were arrested a short time later.”

Mrs Dalton said that in police interview Claire Ross said the theft would have funded her drug problem.

Claire Ross and Stephen Ross, both of Uppingham Street, Hartlepool, pleaded guilty to the theft from June 25.

Mitigating, Neil Taylor said: “This is very much a case of a couple who have gone into the shop together and committed the crime together.”

Chairman of the bench Christine Mulgrew fined Claire Ross £50, ordered her to pay £50 costs and a £15 victim surcharge, and fined Stephen Ross £50, ordered him to pay £50 costs and a £15 victim surcharge.