Mums Who Stole Thousands Worth From Boots Spared Jail After ‘Cost Of Living Crisis’ Defence
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Two single mothers have claimed the cost of living crisis as their defence after being caught shoplifting goods worth £2,250 from Boots.
The pair were spared jail after being sentenced at Sefton magistrates court in Liverpool, after saying they sold the stolen items on the black market to help get them through the cost of living crisis.
Kelly Rowlands, 41, and 34-year old Stephanie Goulding took washing, cleaning and cosmetic products during two separate trips to the same branch of the retail chain after finding themselves 'struggling' due to high bills and alleged lack of maintenance from their children's fathers.
Both women were charged after stalking the aisles of Boots' Southport branch in Merseyside within two months of each other. But the circumstances of their arrest or how they managed to get away with so many items was not disclosed.
At Sefton magistrates court, Rowlands and Goulding, both from Halewood in Liverpool and who each have two children admitted theft and was ordered to complete 12 month community orders.
Neither were required to pay any compensation to Boots after they disputed the total value of goods stolen. Both had previous shoplifting convictions.
Prosecutor Tanya Berridge-Burley said: "The first offence to take place was on the 25th of January in the community of Merseyside where the defendant stole goods from Boots the chemist amounting to approximately £1,800.
"Then on the 10th of March 2022 from the same venue, they stole toiletries to the value of £454.36."
She continued: "Initially, the defence disputed the amount of the value of £1,800 on the first charge but accepted the value of the second charge.''
The CPS maintained the women stole £1,800 worth of goods on the first occasion.
In mitigation, defence solicitor Christopher Mantle said the women had pleaded guilty to stealing around £400 worth of goods on the first occasion they went out shoplifting.
Mantle said: "Both defendants said that they were struggling financially at the time when the cost of living was soaring through the roof. The defendants have to appreciate that whether they are struggling or not - and I'm sure the court will have some sympathy for them - the majority of people do not resort to offending.
"Both defendants are single parents, both have two dependent children and have none or little support from the children's fathers. Both defendants - and the fact that both have been out of trouble for a long period of time - both defendants would say that they were simply struggling.
"Both concede that they had gone out and entered the store with the purpose of taking the items to resell to deal with their financial difficulties.”
Hotel worker Rowlands was also ordered to complete 80 hours unpaid work and pay £180 in costs and victim surcharge. Goulding was also fined £80 and ordered to pay a £95 victim surcharge.
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