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Thief loses appeal bid

PUBLISHED: 10:15 01 April 2010 | UPDATED: 17:44 25 August 2010

A WOMAN who went on a day trip to West Sussex to shoplift luxury clothes has failed to get her sentence cut.

A WOMAN who went on a day trip to West Sussex to shoplift luxury clothes has failed to get her sentence cut.

Susan Day, 45, of Earlshall Road, Eltham, was jailed for eight months at Lewes Crown Court in February after admitting stealing £900 worth of clothing from the River Island store in Crawley's shopping centre.

Mr Justice Maddison, sitting in London's Appeal Court with Mr Justice Wilkie, said Day was among a gang of four which targeted the shopping centre last November.

The shoplifting operation was "highly organised", said the judge last Friday (26) at the Court of Appeal, with one of her accomplices using a "tag removing device" to pilfer goods from shops such as Marks and Spencer.

Police were alerted after a security guard spotted a man who was part of the gang, furtively placing stolen high value clothes in the boot of his BMW car.

The guard followed the man into River Island, where he was seen taking a "number of female garments" from Day, which he placed in a bag, before returning to his car where police arrested him.

The total value of the haul from the "shopping expedition" was around £3,000, said Mr Justice Maddison, although Day was only linked to £900 worth of stolen goods.

The judge said it was clear that Day had travelled down from Eltham with her three accomplices by car intending to steal "high value goods".

"But for the intervention of the police, the car would have been used to transport the goods away," said the judge, who concluded that it was "impossible" to describe eight months as an excessive sentence.

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