Shoplifter stole £600 of designer perfumes and aftershaves from Hartlepool store

A shoplifter with a nose for fine fragrance got caught after stealing more than £600 of designer scent from a Hartlepool store.

Tuesday, 28th January 2020, 12:50 pm

James Irven, 49, helped himself to numerous bottles of Hugo Boss and Aramis fragrances when he stole from TJ Hughes in Middleton Grange shopping centre three times in four days.

Security staff caught him red-handed during his third visit to the shop on October 26 last year when he had stolen four Hugo Boss and two Aramis fragrances worth £160, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.

Joanne Hesse, prosecuting, said in court: “This is a total theft of about £600. There are three thefts from the same store of aftershave and fragrances.

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Shoplifter James Irven targeted TJ Hughes at Hartlepool's Middleton Grange shopping centre three times in four days.
Shoplifter James Irven targeted TJ Hughes at Hartlepool's Middleton Grange shopping centre three times in four days.

“The defendant was detained on the last theft having been recognised as having committed the other two thefts previously.”

Irven, whose record includes 24 previous theft offences, pleaded guilty to stealing from the store on October 23, 24 and 26.

On October 23 he stole £260 worth of Hugo Boss fragrance, and the following day stole several more bottles of fragrance valued at £230.

The fragrances stolen on the final day were recovered, the court heard.

Irven, of Everett Street, Hartlepool, later told police he had taken what he was able to carry with him.

Solicitor Neil Douglas, representing Irven, asked for sentencing to be adjourned for the probation service to do a pre-sentence report.

He said: “Mr Irven has been out of trouble for three plus years.

“The case seems to have arisen out of a financial crisis that coincided with his daughter’s 18th birthday and has regrettably chosen theft as a way to resolve his situation.”

The prosecution said it will be applying for £490 compensation as the fragrance Irven stole on his first two visits to TJ Hughes were not recovered.

Chairman of the magistrates’ bench David Gee said: “I think given the value and also the fact it’s almost three and a half years since Mr Irven bothered the court we are minded to ask for a report.”

Sentencing was adjourned until Thursday, February 27, and Irven was granted bail.