Burglar who stole bottle of shampoo jailed for 32 months

16 October 2019, 10:32

Police said the thief landed in "hot water"
Police said the thief landed in "hot water". Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A burglar who tricked his way into a house and stole shampoo from a woman in her 60s after asking to use the toilet has been jailed.

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

Taylor, 51, after offering to carry out gardening work for the woman he then asked to use her toilet.

The woman told police she felt “on edge” throughout Taylor’s visit. Later that day the homeowner discovered shampoo and conditioner had been stolen from her bathroom and called the police.

Taylor was tracked down and arrested by officers, but he denied any involvement and claimed it was a case of “mistaken identity."

Due to the sheer amount of evidence against him, Taylor admitted the offence when he arrived at Newcastle Crown Court.

Taking into account his level of previous offending, a judge jailed Taylor for two years and eight months and highlighted the long-lasting impact that his crimes can have on victims.

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.

“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.

“I would like to thank the victim in this case for her cooperation throughout and hope this sentence sends out a strong message to the community – if you commit crimes like this, you will be pursued and you will be brought to justice.”

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.

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

“Although the male only stole a bottle of conditioner and shampoo from me, had my bathroom been further away from the front door, he would have had access to more of my property and I could have potentially lost a lot more.

“I feel that my personal space has been violated. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement after working for my entire life and this is going to take me a long time to get over.”

On Monday, Taylor was jailed for 32 months.