Two mums ran shoplifting operation to steal £5k of sunglasses from John Lewis

Two mums ran a slick sleight of hand shoplifting operation to steal over £5,000 worth of designer sunglasses from John Lewis.

Lindsey Jordan, 40, and Paula Richardson, 35, both pleaded guilty to theft but were spared jail on account of their children.

They were each handed a suspended sentence for six months at Minshull Street Crown Court by Judge Baxter, who told them she was granting them "a chance" because of "real difficulties" in relation to their children.

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The pair worked together across three days in April and May earlier this year, with Jordan acting as a lookout and distracting staff while Richardson took the sunglasses from the store at the Trafford Centre in Manchester.

The pair first offended on April 19, when they stole eight pairs of sunglasses ranging between £200 and £481, and valued at a total of £3,164.

They returned to the same store just three days later on April 22, carrying out what Mr Mark Pritchard, prosecuting, called 'exactly the same operation' where they stole a further six pairs of sunglasses valued between £298 and £508, with a total value of £2,168.

They then attempted to visit the store on a third occasion, where they were grabbed by store security.

The court also heard how Jordan had 26 previous convictions ranging from 2001 and 2011, including shoplifting offences which she served in custody in 2011, while Richardson had two previous convictions, including one for shoplifting in 2017.

Mitigating, Mr Carville said that both defendants are mothers caring for children, and that Jordan has a child with special needs who requires specialist support, while Richardson is a single parent of four children.

Mr Carville said both of them had managed to "stay out of trouble" for several years and Jordan had written a letter to the judge in relation to her child's circumstances.

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Judge Baxter said six months custody was the "appropriate sentence" for theft of these "high value" items, but decided to suspend the sentences to take each woman's children into account.

"This was clearly a joint enterprise in which you both planned together and acted together," Judge Baxter said in sentencing.

"You are both mature adults and make your own decisions and knew exactly what you were doing.

"You returned to the shop on three occasions and no doubt thought you were getting away with it. I know I have given you a chance and taken those children into account on this occasion. It won't happen twice."

The £5,332 worth of stolen goods have not yet been recovered.


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