Two friends caught shoplifting from Poundland in South Shields after having 'too much to drink'

Two friends decided to steal clothing and cosmetics from Poundland after drinking "too much".
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Thieving friends stole from a South Tyneside shop after booze went to their heads and then to their wandering hands, a court was told.

Paula Lynch, 41, and Samantha Lewis, 31, decided to pinch clothing and cosmetics from Poundland’s town centre outlet in South Shields, after downing alcohol.

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Lewis, of Honeysuckle Avenue, West Harton, and Lynch, of Gorse Avenue, The Nook, put the goods into a bag and left without paying on Friday, December 1.

But they were seen committing the crime by staff, leading to their arrest as they made their getaway by car, prosecutor Holly Clegg said.

The case was dealt with at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.The case was dealt with at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.
The case was dealt with at South Tyneside Magistrates Court.

Both admitted a single charge of shop theft - with the court hearing Lewis owes £7,000 and Lynch £2,000 from past misdemeanours, believed mainly Metro fare non-payments.

Ms Clegg said: “A member of staff was alerted by a member of the public that they had seen two women taking goods.

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“They had put the items into a bag, with one woman handing the bag to the other, and both left the store.

“Both women were later stopped in a vehicle by police. The goods were recovered, so no compensation is required.”

Borough magistrates heard Lynch has three convictions from six offences, all being thefts, the last in 2017, and Lewis has no criminal record.

Michelle Stonley defending, conceded both culrpits had consumed booze before going to the shop.

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Of Lewis, she said: “She’s 31 and has no previous convictions. This is her first appearance in a court and one that she doesn’t wish to repeat.

“She tells me that she had been drinking alcohol and made the foolish decision to steal items, once inside the store.

“Not only is there the shame of being in court for the first time, there’s also the loss of her good character.”

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And of Lynch, Mrs Stonley added: “Although this is not her first appearance before a court, she is lightly convicted.

“She too had had too much to drink and she regrets what happened and wishes me to apologise to the court.”

Each defendant was fined £80, with £85 court costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

John Lee, chair of the bench, described Lewis’ £7,000 debt, being repaid at £20 a month, as “astronomical”.