'Nobody should be made to feel frightened or anxious in their own homes' - police slam burglar who stole shampoo from South Shields home

A doorstep trickster who stole shampoo from a woman’s bathroom has been slammed by police who say they won’t apologise for taking a zero-tolerance approach to burglary.

Stuart Taylor knocked on the door of a home in Readhead Road, South Shields, earlier this year and spoke to a woman in her 60s.

Taylor, 51, offered to carry out gardening work for the woman and went on to ask whether he could use her toilet, which was located just inside the front door.

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After feeling ‘on edge’ throughout Taylor’s impromptu visit, later that day the occupant found shampoo and conditioner had been stolen from the bathroom and contacted police.

Stuart TaylorStuart Taylor
Stuart Taylor

Taylor, of Centenary Avenue, South Shields, admitted burglary in August and was back in the dock at Newcastle Crown Court for sentencing on Monday, October 14.

Due to his level of previous offending, a judge jailed Taylor for two years and eight month.

Detective Constable John Baines, of Northumbria Police’s Southern Burglary Team, said: “While Taylor’s dishonesty did not result in major financial loss to the victim, the consequences of his actions did have a significant impact on her.

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“The victim lives alone and has been left shaken by what happened. Taylor abused her trust, entered her home and stole items that belonged to her. The value of the goods taken is largely irrelevant – this behaviour is totally unacceptable, whatever the circumstances, and will not be tolerated.

“Nobody should be made to feel frightened or anxious in their own homes, and quite often that is the serious impact that burglaries can have on victims. As a result, we do not apologise for our zero-tolerance approach and will deal with offenders robustly.”

Following his arrest, Taylor was questioned by detectives about the burglary on March 24 and denied any involvement – claiming a case of “mistaken identity”.

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.

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“I feel anxious and nervous in my own home and I shouldn’t have to feel like this.”