Hartlepool shoplifter who stole clothes from a mannequin is sent to jail

Sharon Mincher pictured following a police raid at a Gray Street property. Picture taken 31st March 2009.
Sharon Mincher pictured following a police raid at a Gray Street property. Picture taken 31st March 2009.

A serial shoplifter with more than 180 convictions on her record has been jailed.

Sharon Mincher, 44, who stole clothes from a Hartlepool Art Gallery mannequin has been jailed for eight months at Teesside Crown Court.

It seems to me the only way to stop you stealing - and to give the shops in Hartlepool a break - is to send you to prison.

Judge Howard Crowson

Mincher has 181 previous convictions, mostly for theft, and her convictions span 26 pages, a court was told.

The judge in the case, Howard Crowson, said sending her to prison “seems to me the only way to stop you stealing – and to give the shops in Hartlepool a break”.

“Her most recent conviction is for taking the clothes from the mannequin in Hartlepool art gallery,” said Emma Atkinson, prosecuting. “That was in March of this year.

“On August 11, she was in Primark in the Middleton Grange shopping centre in Hartlepool.

“Security staff saw her put two pairs of shoes in a bag and attempt to leave the store without paying.

“When challenged, she could not say why she had done it.

“Her list of previous convictions runs to 26 pages, but I don’t propose to go through them all.”

Mincher, of Church Street, Hartlepool, admitted theft, and being in breach of a suspended sentence for theft.

Liam O’Brien, defending, said: “Ms Mincher has to accept she has a dreadful record, and her compliance with her last community order was not good to start with.

“Her offending, while persistent, has reduced in frequency in recent years.

“She has a partner and an adult son, both of whom rely on her to some extent.”

Judge Howard Crowson jailed Mincher for eight months.

The judge told her: “When you received the suspended sentence, you would have been told what would happen if you offended again.

“Your offending has been persistent, including the bizarre offence involving the mannequin.

“It seems to me the only way to stop you stealing – and to give the shops in Hartlepool a break – is to send you to prison.

“You must understand if you keep coming back here for theft, you will keep going to prison.”

Mincher was ordered to pay £280 court costs and victim surcharge.