A teenage girl went on a £ 1,600 clothes and makeup shoplifting spree in Birmingham city center because she ‘did not have nice things like this’. Demi Ellis traveled all the way from Yorkshire to the second city where she targeted Selfridges, House of Fraser, Boots, Zara and Morphe in the same day.
The 19-year-old was caught at the Bullring after being spotted on CCTV and later went on to say it was her ‘friend’s idea’. Ellis, of Cedar Close, Stocksbridge, Sheffield, pleaded guilty to five counts of theft from a shop at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday, April 12.
She was sentenced to 12 weeks, suspended for 18 months, and told to stay away from ‘friends’ who get her into trouble. On December 9 last year Ellis stole £ 947 of clothes from House of Fraser, £ 186 worth of makeup from Morphe, £ 48 of clothes and makeup from Boots, a further £ 350 haul from Selfridges and clothes worth £ 48 from Zara.
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Prosecutor Neelam Shafiq said: “Officers were called to the Bullring on December 9 by security from Selfridges to two females, Ms Ellis and her friend, who had been observed on CCTV in Selfridges, Morphe, House of Fraser, Boots and Zara selecting items and taking those.
“All items were recovered and returned to the shops. Morphe expressed the effect on their profit margins of offenses of this nature.”
She argued there was ‘high culpability’ because it was a group activity which involved planning. Kalsoom Bashir, defending, told the court Ellis had been ‘kicked out’ of her house and was homeless at the time.
The solicitor said: “She was homeless for three months. She was forthright (with the police) and fully admitted the offenses saying she did not have nice things like this, she took the items for herself.
“She has since made contact with the homeless team and has a settled address. She has also applied for jobs at Aldi and a warehouse.”
Ms Bashir confirmed Ellis had no health, drink or drug issues adding: “She tells me it was her friend’s idea to do this.”
Ellis must complete 20 days of rehabilitation activity as part of her sentence and pay a £ 128 victim surcharge. District Judge David Murray made reference to the fact she had committed a dissimilar offense as a youth.
He said: “You seem to have complied with a referral order and moved on with your life. Yet you are doing this. You are in an adult court now. Things are very different.
“If we see you again it’s going to have to be prison. You might want to think your choice of friends is not healthy for you. If she’s getting you into trouble, or the other way around, you might not want her as a friend . “
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