Wigan woman who was jailed for shoplifting was caught stealing again the day after her release

A shoplifter jailed for stealing from a Wigan shop returned to the scene of her crime to steal again just one day after being released from prison, a court heard.

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 9:16 am
Defendant returned to steal from stores on Robin Park retail park
Defendant returned to steal from stores on Robin Park retail park

Mere hours after Zara Fairhurst’s jail term for stealing from Boots at Robin Park came to an end, she returned to the shop and then TK Maxx, making off with more than £300 in items altogether.

In a hearing at Wigan and Leigh Magistrates’ Court, Fairhurst, who appeared via video link from HMP Styal, admitted to one burglary charge and a further charge of theft from a shop.

The court heard that 29-year-old Fairhurst, of Vulcan Road in Marsh Green, 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.

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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. It was the latest in a long line of shoplifting incidents faced by Fairhurst.

In March she was jailed for two previous incidents at the same Boots store. The court had heard she went to the shop’s razor section on January 18 and selected two gift sets worth £35 each. She then went to another part of the shop, was seen crouching and tags were later found there. She left without paying for items worth £129.97.

She was shown CCTV footage of the incident and did not dispute her guilt, but did not remember what happened due to being on heroin and crack cocaine at the time, the court heard.

Defending, Nick Lloyd told the court that Fairhurst, who in the past had admitted stealing goods to fund her drug addiction, had on this occasion taken the products to “tie herself over”.

Mr Lloyd explained to the bench that because his client had been released from prison the day before, without any money, she took cosmetic items from Boots to use for herself, rather than to sell on.

He argued that, as Fairhurst has displayed a pattern of re-offending soon after being released from custody on multiple occasions, that putting her back in jail would only lead to further offences yet again. It is her heartfelt view that she can complied with a non-custodial sentence”, Mr Lloyd said.

The bench ordered an adjournment until November 11 in order for the probation service to complete a report.