Hartlepool thief and pregnant girlfriend jailed after returning to crime within weeks of latest sentences

A couple who went on a shoplifting spree targeting convenience and other stores have been jailed.

Friday, 21st December 2018, 15:08 pm
Updated Friday, 21st December 2018, 15:13 pm
The cases were heard at Teesside Crown Court.

Sean Bradley was locked up for 18 months, and his pregnant girlfriend Rebecca Wahab was given 16 months.

Bradley snatched cash from the tills of four shops, while Wahab stole cosmetics, baby milk, and laundry liquid, Teesside Crown Court heard.

Bradley went out stealing within weeks of being released from a prison sentence, while Wahab returned to crime within weeks of being given a suspended sentence.

"A typical till snatch happened at the Premier Store in Owton Manor Lane in Hartlepool," said Michael Cahill, prosecuting.

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"Bradley went into the shop and approached the till holding a can of pop.

"He proffered a £1 coin to pay for it, but when the assistant opened the till he grabbed the contents, in this case two £20 notes.

"There was a brief struggle with the assistant during which the notes were torn in half.

"Wahab was waiting outside the shop."

Mr Cahill said Bradley used the same method to snatch money from tills in three other shops.

He also stole items from seven shops, mostly cans or trays of lager.

Bradley, 25, of Baden Street, Hartlepool, admitted 11 thefts. He has 32 previous convictions.

Wahab, 22, of the same address, admitted five thefts, a common assault, and she admitted being in breach of a suspended sentence. She has previous convictions for 66 offences.

All the thefts were carried out in October.

The common assault was in May when during another shop theft Wahab lashed out at a shop assistant.

Stephen Constantine, for Bradley, said: "The till snatches are more serious than the shop thefts, but they are not as serious as robbery.

"Mr Bradley behaved as he did because he was being threatened over a drugs debt.

"It was either get money or deal drugs himself, he chose what he thought was the lesser of two evils.

"The reason he stole Foster's lager was not because he particularly likes drinking it, but because it is easy to sell."

Laurie Scott, for Wahab, said she was in a 'sorry situation'.

"Ms Wahab's first child has been taken from her permanently," added Ms Scott.

"She is 13 weeks pregnant, and is concerned what may happen to the baby.

"Her offending was all minor shop thefts, there were no till snatches."

Judge James Brown jailed Bradley for 18 months, and jailed Wahab for 16 months.

The judge told the pair: "You both committed a rash of thefts from shops during a short period in October.

"Many of the businesses you targeted were small, privately owned businesses.

"You, Bradley, had not long been released from prison, and you, Wahab, had just been given the chance to behave yourself in the form of the suspended sentence.

"I take into account mitigation, particularly the personal circumstances of Ms Wahab, but the sheer volume of offences makes a custodial sentence inevitable."