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Shopworkers left hurt after tackling phone thief

The hearing took place at Wigan and Leigh Courthouse
The hearing took place at Wigan and Leigh Courthouse

A thief who attacked two shop workers trying to stop her stealing a £500 mobile phone has escaped an immediate jail sentence.


Shoplifter Ashleigh Tolley was caught red-handed as she attempted to walk out with a phone from CEX in Leigh’s Bradshawgate.

And in the ensuing violence, two shop assistants were hurt, the court was told.

Tolley, 26, of Glebe Street, Leigh, admitted two assaults and a theft. She was given a 12-week prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, by Wigan magistrates. Bench chair Eric Rutter said: “This was a pretty nasty incident which caused injuries and suffering to the two victims involved.”

The court also ordered her to complete 100 hours’ community service and remain under probation supervision for 12 months.

The hearing was told one staff member told police she didn’t know whether the defendant had a knife and the experience had left her fearful of returning to work.

Bill Pearson, defending, said his client had been involved in a relationship with a man who could best be described as a “ne’er-do-well”, who was often in trouble with the law. Her decision to take up with him had alienated her from her family and led to her own offending. But Mr Pearson said she had managed to break free from that assocation and secured accommodation in Glebe Street.

However she had been expected to “pay her own way”, to support the household, and Tolley, who is on universal credit had felt under pressure to provide extra money, the court heard. Mr

Pearson said that ironically, her benefits were paid in the following day, and if he friend had waited until the following day the situation may have resolved itself.

Tolley was said to currently be on a methadone reduction programme.