Hartlepool woman hid clothing in wheelchair to steal from TJ Hughes

A Hartlepool woman hid clothing in a wheelchair to steal from a shop, a court heard.

Sunday, 8th December 2019, 8:00 am
Updated Sunday, 8th December 2019, 8:00 am
The case was heard at Teesside Magistrates' Court.

Janine McLoughlin, 34, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft when she appeared before Teesside Magistrates’ Court.

Joanne Hesse, prosecuting, said polo shirts valued at £600 were stolen by McLoughlin and an accomplice during two visits to TJ Hughes in Middlesbrough on the same day.

She said on August 31 the two women went into the store and stole the first set of polo shirts by putting them on the seat of the wheelchair.

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Ms Hesse said: “They returned later that afternoon and a number of polo shirts were placed in a black holdall.”

She said on November 9 McLoughlin went into TK Maxx in Middlesbrough, this time alone, and tried to steal designer socks and boxer shorts by putting them into her pockets.

Ms Hesse said: “However, she was detained as she attempted to leave the store.”

Sarah Lish, defending, said her client had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and cooperated fully with the police.

She said her client was struggling for money since her benefits changed to Universal Credit and was finding it hard to survive on the amount she gets.

Mrs Lish said: “She finds herself very much on the breadline in terms of financial stability.”

She said McLoughlin does sometimes take non prescription medication which can make her behaviour unpredictable.

McLoughlin was given a 12-month community order and told to pay compensation of £300.