Sunderland shoplifter jailed after MetroCentre raids

Suzanne Innes and Chelsea Connolly targeted stores at the MetroCentre
Suzanne Innes and Chelsea Connolly targeted stores at the MetroCentre

A Sunderland shoplifter who targeted MetroCentre stores has been jailed.

Suzanne Innes and her friend Chelsea Connolly targeted John Lewis and Next stores, South Northumbria Magistrates' Court heard.

Suzanne Innes

Suzanne Innes

"The matter came to light when a bag of removed security tags was found in the cafe area of John Lewis.

"Staff checked CCTV and were able to track two women visiting the Armani concession selecting clothing, mostly jeans, valued at £809.

"They were seen to disappear down a corridor towards a beauty treatment room, before returning without the clothes.

"Similar activity was observed at Next.

"The two women were also seen on CCTV in the cafe area where the security tags were found.

"Innes and Connolly were identified by police officers who viewed the footage."

Innes, 30, of Maypole Close, Southwick, and Connolly, 26, of Second Avenue, Chester-le-Street, both admitted theft on April 3.

The court heard both women were in breach of previous suspended sentences imposed for theft.

Anna Haq, defending both women, said: "Much of their mitigation is similar, they are both former victims of domestic violence, and both have caring responsibilities for parents.

"Ms Connolly is originally from Sunderland, and she had to effectively flee the area to escape from her former partner.

"She also has a small child.

"At the time of this offending her benefits had been sanctioned leaving her to survive on £60 a fortnight.

"Ms Innes has been in employment, although she is currently on the sick with depression."

The bench jailed Innes for six weeks, and ordered her to pay £404.50 compensation to John Lewis.

Connolly was sentenced to a community order of 12 months, including a curfew of six weeks.

The suspension period of her previous sentence was increased by six months, and she was ordered to pay £404.50 compensation to John Lewis.