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Suspended sentence for woman who carried out M&S refund scam while daughter had job interview


Linda McIntyre was handed a three-month suspended jail sentence.

Linda McIntyre was handed a three-month suspended jail sentence.

Linda McIntyre was handed a three-month suspended jail sentence.

A woman who carried out a refund scam at a Marks & Spencer store while her daughter was there for a job interview has been given a three-month suspended jail sentence.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard Linda McIntyre took a jacket from clothing rails in the shop, approached the till and asked for money back.

Referring to the 44-year-old's six previous convictions for theft, Judge Joe Rice said: "She's a very active amateur shoplifter."

McIntyre, of Millview Meadow in Coalisland, Co Tyrone, committed the fraud by false representation at a branch of Marks & Spencer in Belfast on June 29.

A prosecution lawyer said she took the £69.99 jacket off its hanger, went to the changing rooms and then headed to customer services to seek a refund.

Staff discovered a rip in the item, rendering it unfit for resale.

McIntyre made full admissions after being arrested and interviewed.

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Defence counsel Luke Curran confirmed the fraud occurred while his client's daughter was at the store for a job interview.

There is no suggestion that McIntyre's daughter was in any way aware of the offence being committed.

Mr Curran stressed the incident had coincided with a low point in the defendant's life.

But the judge pointed out: "She has convictions for theft the length and breadth of the province - Omagh, Dungannon, Lisburn, Craigavon, Coleraine - and now Belfast."

He continued: "She took advantage of a situation where her daughter is going for a job interview, comes up from Tyrone and quite deliberately steals this article."

Telling McIntyre she has been given "chance upon chance", Mr Rice imposed a three-month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

He also ordered her to pay the full £69.99 in compensation.

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