South Shields burglar jailed for stealing shampoo and conditioner from woman's bathroom

A burglar who stole shampoo and conditioner from a woman's bathroom while out canvassing for gardening work has been jailed.

Stuart Taylor
Stuart Taylor

Stuart Taylor, who has 69 criminal convictions and had been out of jail for just a few months, asked his 62-year-old victim if he could use her toilet when he approached her door offering grass cutting services in March.While inside the bathroom, the 51-year-old took the chance to steal the toiletries, valued at around £5.Taylor, of Centenary Avenue, South Shields, initially denied burglary but pleaded guilty on the day his trail was due to start at Newcastle Crown Court.In a statement, the victim said: “I am now a lot more wary about answering my front door, and other than friends and family, I am reluctant to let anybody into my home address.“I feel anxious and nervous in my own home and I shouldn’t have to feel like this.“I feel that my personal space has been violated. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement after working for my entire life and this is going to take me a long time to get over.”Judge Tim Gittins sentenced Taylor, who has previous convictions for burglary and once targeted the home of a victim in her 80s, to 32 months behind bars.

The judge told him: "The harm here isn't the loss of a couple of bottles of shampoo, it is the loss of her security and wellbeing. You can buy a bottle of shampoo at Tescos.You can't buy safety and security and a sense of wellbeing and that's what you have taken from this lady and that is extremely serious."Tony Hawks, defending, said Taylor has a long standing problem with alcohol and drugs, which is at the heart of his offending.Mr Hawks added: "He is very sorry and wants to apologise, through me, for what he did."Detective Constable John Baines, of the Southern Burglary Team, said after the conviction: “Taylor may have only taken a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, but that does not excuse his dishonest and selfish behaviour.”