Single Mum Facing Jail After Attempting To Trick Supermarket Staff

PUBLISHED: 12:07 07 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 04 May 2010

A HARD up single mum who tricked supermarket staff into giving her a refund could be on her way to jail. Lara Mayes used someone else s till receipt when she picked up nappies, baby milk and baby wipes in Tesco, and then claimed £33.89 cash back. The 25-y

A HARD up single mum who tricked supermarket staff into giving her a refund could be on her way to jail.

Lara Mayes used someone else's till receipt when she picked up nappies, baby milk and baby wipes in Tesco, and then claimed £33.89 cash back.

The 25-year-old's two children were alongside her as she collected up items that corresponded with the receipt, and they presented herself at the customer service desk and pocketed the cash.

The offence put Mayes in breach of a nine-month suspended jail sentence she was given by Cambridge Crown Court in January last year - and a judge will now decide whether to activate that sentence.

Mayes, 25, of Windmill Walk, Sutton, admitted committing fraud at the Tesco store in Ely on July 8 when she appeared at the city courthouse on Thursday.

"She was pushing a trolley, with a baby inside, and a child walking beside her," said prosecutor Gareth Jacques.

"She attracted the attention of the store security officer; she was seen with two packs of nappies, moving them around in the trolley. She paid for potatoes, strawberries and bread, and they went to the customer service desk, produced the baby wipes, two packs of nappies and baby milk, and produced a receipt."

It later came to light that the receipt belonged to a member of store staff, showing discount had been given.

"That member of staff had used all the items refunded by the store," he said. "Mayes claimed that someone gave her the receipt, and suggested it could be used to get a refund."

Mitigating, Michael Judkins said Mayes had recently moved house, but her housing benefit had been delayed by seven weeks.

"She found herself short of funds," he said. "She was desperate; she had no money to feed herself and her children, and stupidly resorted to this offence.

"She had earlier tried to return some clothing without tags, and could not get that £20 or £30.

"Someone gave her the idea of taking a till receipt to the customer service desk, and asking for a refund."

The court committed her for sentence at Cambridge Crown Court.

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