Canvey woman who ignored shop ban jailed again

Mick Ferris
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An Essex Police Business Crime Team officer was on the spot to arrest a prolific shoplifter who breached her criminal behaviour order in Pitsea just two days after being released from prison.

Laura Mansfield, 39, of Craven Avenue, Canvey Island, had been jailed by Southend magistrates on April 19 for a total of 36 weeks. She had admitted eight counts of shoplifting between October 31, 2022 and January 24 this year, a burglary and failure to surrender to court bail.

The court also issued her with a three-year criminal behaviour order (CBO) which prohibited her from entering the Boots and Aldi stores in Northlands Pavement, Pitsea; Farm Foods in Pitsea Retail Park; and the BP garage in Eastmayne, Basildon.

On July 5, two days after her release from prison, Mansfield entered two of the stores, Southend Magistrates’ Court heard on July 6.

PC Alex Plakhtienko, from the Essex Police Business Crime Team, had been in Pitsea town centre talking to businesses about their Townlink radio communication system when he heard a call for assistance on it.

Helped by regular updates from shopkeepers using Townlink, he tracked Mansfield to The Range in Northlands Pavement and, identifying her as subject to a criminal behaviour order, promptly arrested her.

In court, Mansfield admitted entering the Farm Foods store while prohibited from doing so and attempting to steal a bottle of mouthwash from Boots in Northlands Pavement. She was jailed for a further eight weeks.

Noting the offences were committed just two days after her release from prison, magistrates remarked on her ‘flagrant disregard for court orders’ which was aggravated by her previous history of offending. Mansfield was also ordered to pay a £154 victim surcharge.

Mansfield’s CBO is to continue and runs until April 19, 2026.

Prior to Mansfield’s sentencing in April, the Business Crime Team and officers from Basildon Community Policing Team worked with the Crown Prosecution Service to obtain the criminal behaviour order. CBOs are designed to tackle the most serious and persistent anti-social individuals where their behaviour has brought them before a criminal court.

PC Plakhtienko said after the case that Mansfield had persisted in her behaviour despite being given a chance to mend her ways.

“We have a duty to protect all victims of crime from repeat offenders. And one way we can do this is by applying to the courts for criminal behaviour orders which are intended to prevent their re-offending and future impact on retail staff.

“Breaching them can result in a prison sentence, as Mansfield discovered when she appeared before the magistrates.

“Shoplifting is not a victimless crime. Offenders’ behaviour can affect staff and customers in the shops they target and we in the Business Crime Team work with retailers and staff to prevent this.

“Through our Open For Business, Closed For Crime campaign, we encourage staff to report incidents of abuse and violence so we can take action and put offenders before the courts.”

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Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk