‘Fagin’ family ordered to pay back £1 each after £50,000 shoplifting racket

Caitlyn, Dawn and Claire Bainbridge

Caitlyn, Dawn and Claire Bainbridge

0
Have your say

A “FAGIN” mum and her two daughters made almost £50,000 in a lucrative family shoplifting firm - and have to pay just £1 each back.

Dawn Bainbridge led a ‘family business’ which saw her and her children steal thousands of pounds worth of clothes from high street stores across the North and sell them online.

Thousands and thousands of pounds worth of goods were taken in professional, planned shoplifting expeditions and professionally marketed by you on your own Paypal account and with money being withdrawn to distribute amongst the directors of the firm.

Their company, ‘Designer Goods North East’, took more than £7,000 in online payments in just four months, had detailed sales records and a even a debtors’ book and, in a note seized by police, one daughter boasted of making £100 a week and dreamed of going it alone.

At Newcastle Crown Court last year Judge Sean Morris jailed Dawn Bainbridge, 47, for 30 months, daughter Claire Bainbridge, 21, for 20 months and Caitlyn Bainbridge, 19, to 16 months behind bars.

They all lived at the family home in The Crescent, West Rainton.

The mum, who is still serving her sentence, and two daughters, who have since been released, were back in court yesterday for a hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Prosecutor Bridie Smurthwaite told the court the mum made £15,017, Claire made £26,180 and Caitlyn made £7,476 in their illegal enterprise.

The court heard none of the women have any assets that can be seized or sold,so have been ordered to pay back just £1 each.

Miss Smurthwaite told the court: “There is confiscation orders in the sum of £1. That sum to be paid within 28 days.”

The mum was allowed 56 days to pay back her £1 as she is the only one still in custody.

The women face up to seven days behind bars if they fail to pay their pounds on time.

At the sentencing hearing last year, the judge slammed Dawn Bainbridge’s parenting and said shoplifting was a blight on society as a whole.

The judge told the women: “This was a professional, criminal family firm.

“Thousands and thousands of pounds worth of goods were taken in professional, planned shoplifting expeditions and professionally marketed by you on your own Paypal account and with money being withdrawn to distribute amongst the directors of the firm.”

“People seem to think shoplifting doesn’t matter. Well it does.

“Shops have to provide security machines, security guards, and cameras all because people like you can’t keep their grubby hands off other people’s property.

“The vast majority of this country, many of whom are in far worse situations than you, hold their heads up high and live honest lives. You obviously regard yourself as far too clever to be like them.”

The judge told Dawn Bainbridge as he jailed her: “You now have time to think about the effects of your offences on your family. You were the mother and leader of the criminal firm. You are the villain of the piece. It’s your fault your daughters are in court. Some mother.”

Jamie Adams, defending Caitlyn, said at the sentencing hearing: “The whole scenario is reminiscent of something Dickens would write about. Fagin comes to mind in the form of her mother.”

The family stole from stores in Leeds, Bradford, Guiseley, York, Knaresborough, Harrogate, Stockton, Bishop Auckland, Durham, Gateshead and Edinburgh.

Their operation was uncovered by an investigator for high street chain Next, who bought clothes and proved them to have been stolen.

When police raided the family home they recovered goods stolen from Next, House of Fraser, Marks and Spencer and elsewhere worth nearly £7,000.

But still the thieving continued.

Police seized a further £900-worth of stolen goods in June.

All three Bainbridges admitted conspiracy to steal.