Prolific shop thief with ‘dreadful record’ jailed for 12 months

A prolific shop thief who stole shoes and clothing worth hundreds of pounds in a string of offences has been jailed for 12 months.

Amanda Richardson was on prison licence when she raided New Look, Beales and Sainsbury’s to fuel her crack cocaine and heroin addiction.

She pleaded guilty to eight shop thefts between February and August this year, continuing to steal from stores after she was arrested and bailed.

Prosecutor Clare Walsh told Bradford Crown Court that Richardson, 37, of no fixed address, had 50 previous convictions for 102 offences, most of them for matters of dishonesty.

Her latest string of offences began on February 6 when she stole up to seven pairs of shoes worth £100 from New Look in Low Street, Keighley.

She returned to the shop on February 16 to take four Puffa Coats valued at £150, Miss Walsh said.

A week later, she struck again, twice in one day at Beales in Hanover House in Low Street. She stole a panini maker worth £27.99 and then a soup maker valued at £64.99.

On March 9, she was back at New Look to steal jeans worth £270, the court was told.

Richardson was stopped by a security guard, arrested and interviewed by the police but made no comment.

She was charged with shoplifting and due to attend court on July 21.

But four days before then, she stole £80 worth of clothing from Sainsbury’s.

She then went on to steal from Trespass in the Airedale Shopping Centre on August 11 and 20. She took a jacket worth £119.99 followed by clothing valued at £289.97.

Richardson’s barrister, Samreen Akhtar, said she was remorseful and wanted to apologise to the court.

She was on benefits at the time and stole to fund her £25 a day drugs habit.

Richardson, who appeared before the court on a video link to HMP Newhall, was aware that a prison sentence was very likely, Miss Akhtar said.

Judge Jonathan Rose told Richardson: “You have a dreadful record, primarily for offences of dishonesty.”

Her offending caused economic loss to the businesses she stole from and distress to workers in the shops she targeted.

She did not stop shoplifting even when she was on licence and on bail.

Because Richardson was homeless, it would not be possible for her to respond positively to a non-custodial sentence, Judge Rose said.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus | News