Wigan woman caught shoplifting the day after being released from prison avoids jail return

A Wigan woman who was caught shoplifting the day after being released from prison has avoided a further jail term.


Zara Fairhurst stole various products from Boots at Robin Park on October 19, the very same shop she had targeted weeks earlier in a crime which ended with her being sent to prison.

Boots on Robin Park

Boots on Robin Park

She went on to steal hundreds of pounds’ worth of goods from another nearby store, before police apprehended her.

But in a hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, justices spared Fairhurst yet another prison sentence after details of her crimes were heard, instead handing the 29-year-old Vulcan Road resident a suspended sentence.

The court heard that she had been put behind bars for a fortnight on October 7 for leaving without paying for items at the Boots at Robin Park, but served only 11 days before being released on October 18.

It was the very next day that she returned to the shop, despite having been banned by the store manager.

She entered the shop and filled a bag with various items, mostly cosmetic products. She “made no effort to pay,” the prosecution said, and left with the £81 haul of goods.

Having checked the CCTV and recognising Fairhurst from her previous shoplifting sprees, the store manager reported the incident to the police.

A day later, Fairhurst went to the TK Maxx store, also at Robin Park, and filled a bag with more than £300 in clothing. Again, she made no effort to pay, the bench was told.

Police investigating the incident a day earlier visited her home to question her over the thefts.

Officers found a large quantity of goods with security tags still attached, but she denied entering the two stores when questioned.

She was shown footage of her taking items from Boots but still refused to accept responsibility for her actions.

And when quizzed about the items found at her home from TK Maxx, she told detectives that she had stolen them months earlier on a previous stealing spree.

She was charged with burglary from Boots, as opposed to the more common charge of shoplifting, because she was banned from the store at the time of the offence.

Fairhurst received a 16-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, for both offences. She was also banned from visiting the Robin park retail complex for 12 months. She will also have to pay a victim surcharge of £122 and court costs of £85.

No compensation was ordered as the stolen goods were recovered.

In addition, she will complete 25 days of a rehabilitation activity requirement.