Courier from Houghton Regis convicted of stealing £3k of fashion

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A courier driver from Houghton Regis has been found guilty of stealing over £3k worth of high street clothing she was meant to deliver.

Stacey Lee-Taylor, 36, was convicted at Luton Magistrates Court on Monday of two charges of theft dating back to November 2014.

In total, Lee-Taylor was found guilty of stealing £2168.80 of Next products and £820.45 from River Island.

Lee-Taylor claimed to have bought the clothing in bulk from sites such as Gumtree, but was unable to provide any receipts as evidence.

Magistrates told her there was “clear evidence” from fraud investigators about unique identification numbers for the missing products, which were traced back to Lee-Taylor.

Some of the items were found in her home at Plaiters Way and others sold over Facebook.

The court heard that mum-of-three Lee-Taylor worked at Hermes’ Dunstable depot and delivered online purchases for major retailers such as Next and River Island.

Michael Mulkerrins, prosecuting, said: “Her job was to report to the Dunstable depot. She would be given a job list with a geographical area to deliver items to, and she’d then arrange her own route to deliver the goods.

“She retained them and sold various items on Facebook and profited the money for herself.”

After enquiries began in November 2014, police entered Lee-Taylor’s home the following March and seized bundles of clothing.

She later gave two “no comment” interviews to police.

Mr Mulkerrins said: “There were boxes in wardrobes, in plastic bags, ready for her to sell.”

PC Robert Williams arrested Lee-Taylor during the search of her home on March 11, 2015.

He said: “There were lots and lots of boxes on top of the stairs and on the landing.

“It became clear that almost the entire top floor was covered in these items.”

49 exhibits were taken from the home, requiring an extra police unit with a van to be called out.

Sentencing will take place on May 31 after a report is prepared by the probation service.