Paul Shaw, 34, (pictured in an undated image) tried to steal three dash cams and a TV streaming stick worth almost £200 from Asda with the help of his children
A father-of-six took his children on shoplifting sprees – and stuffed the loot into their school bags.
Paul Shaw, 34, tried to steal three dash cams and a TV streaming stick worth almost £200 from Asda.
He has now been spared jail but banned from all Asda stores indefinitely after being caught by security staff along with his children, aged 16 and nine.
CCTV footage showed he had also stolen electrical equipment worth £180 from the store just nine days before.
On both occasions he had put stolen goods into the youngsters’ school bags, thinking he wouldn’t get caught.
Shaw told magistrates in Burnley he needed to raise cash as he was in rent arrears.
The self-employed qualified welder, who couldn’t work due to a back injury, had also been trying to gamble his way out of his money troubles, which he had kept a secret from his family.
His solicitor Daniel Frazer said: ‘He is embarrassed he can’t provide for his children.’
Tracy Yates, prosecuting, said the defendant was detained at the Burnley store in the afternoon on February 6 when the alarm barriers sounded.
Shaw was with two of his children. She said: ‘He had put items in one of the children’s school bags to take them out of the store.’
The prosecutor said while a security officer was waiting for police, he was told by a colleague that the defendant may have stolen some items a couple of weeks before.
She added: ‘CCTV footage was reviewed and confirmed the defendant had stolen items on January 28, at 4.15pm. Again, he had put items in one of the children’s school bags.
‘The defendant was interviewed at the store. He admitted the offence from February 6 and said he was going to sell them to get some cash.’
She added: ‘Children were accompanying the offender. Obviously, that’s an aggravating feature. On the second occasion, there was some planning because he has gone back to the store and stolen similar items.’
Shaw had 27 offences on his record.
Shaw has now been spared jail but banned from all Asda stores indefinitely after being caught by security staff at its branch in Burnley
Daniel Frazer, defending, said: ‘He is extremely remorseful and somewhat embarrassed that his children have witnessed him being involved with the police.’
The solicitor told the court that although Shaw put things in their bags, he said their understanding of what was going on was limited.
Mr Frazer said the defendant was keeping the financial problems a secret.
The solicitor said: ‘He was trying to resolve this without getting caught, but he’s done something rather stupid, rather foolish, twice.’
A probation officer said Shaw had broken three bones in his back, had sciatica and needed surgery.
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He had not worked for 12 months, had financial issues and had fallen into rent arrears.
She said: ‘It’s of concern that he used his children on both offences, which needs to be addressed thoroughly.’
The officer said not being able to provide for his family left Shaw suffering from low mood, he had turned to alcohol as a coping mechanism and had been gambling in recent months to try and make some money.
She told the court: ‘His family have become aware since he was caught for these offences, his parents have paid his rent arrears and his partner has given him one last chance, in effect, to sort himself out and get the help available to him.’
Shaw looked after the children while his partner worked.
The officer said: ‘He tells me his main aim is to get back to work after recovery from surgery.’
Shaw told magistrates in Burnley he needed to raise cash as he was in rent arrears. Pictured: The court building
Sentencing, the magistrates told Shaw: ‘The factors that make it more serious are that children were with you on both occasions and you used their bags to evade detection. ‘
They said, however, he had used the money to pay bills and not for a drugs habit, for example, and he had been under pressure as the main breadwinner.
The justices added: ‘We can’t condone what you have done.’
The defendant, of Bacup, Rossendale, admitted theft to the value of £192 on February 6 and a second theft charge.
He was given a 12-month community order, with a 25- day rehabilitation activity requirement and three months’ alcohol treatment. Shaw must pay £180 compensation to Asda.
He was excluded from the Burnley store for six months, but told the court he had been banned from all Asda stores indefinitely.
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