Burnley couple went on shoplifting spree to pay for court fines

Burnley Magistrates' Court
Burnley Magistrates' Court
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A couple went out shoplifting because of money troubles - one of them because she couldn't afford to pay court fines.

Burnley magistrates were told how Barrie Pounder (37) was having £111 a month taken out of her benefits to pay the fines, which meant she had as little as £67 to live on. Her partner Dale Bottomley (38) joined her in stealing Loakes shoes worth £245 from the Winfield Shoe Company in Haslingden.

The pair had gone in and taken shoes worth £100. They were not recovered. Two days later, they went back in the store and helped themselves to footwear to the tune of £145. The couple were detained by security staff and the goods were recovered.

Mr Andrew Robinson (prosecuting) told the hearing both defendants had records for theft. He continued: "It was a joint enterprise. There's a degree of planning involved in going back to the same store, a couple of days apart and there is some evidence they were dropped off by a van at the store."

Mr Mark Williams (defending) said Pounder had fines outstanding. He continued: "She has been seriously struggling as a result of that."

The solicitor told the court Bottomley had managed to get some work, which was a positive step in the right direction.

Mr Williams said: "It's really against the background of a lack of finances that they committed these offences."

Bottomley, of Edgworth Grove and Pounder, of Colne Road, both Burnley, each admitted two counts of theft, on September 4th and 6th. They were each given a 12-month community order and must do 40 hours unpaid work.