76-year-old stole because she was bored

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A 76-year-old great-grandmother has been on a shoplifting spree across two counties for the last four years. She has been caught a number of times - sneaking goods into her shopping trolley ranging from alcohol and chocolate to baby clothes and boots. She told magistrates that she did it because she was bored and tired of being old.

It seems you're never too old to take up a life of crime.


The Telegraph reported that June Humphreys from Crewe in Cheshire would use her bus pass to travel to shopping centres across Cheshire and Staffordshire. She took a shopping trolley with her, which she would load up before sneaking out of the shops.

She was apparently caught a number of times, but wasn't deterred. She has convictions dating from 2011, 2012, 2013, and January this year. This time she pleaded guilty to stealing from BHS, Boots, Aldi and a local shoe shop.

ITV reported that she was being treated for breast cancer and osteoarthritis, and said she turned to stealing out of boredom. She was lonely living on her own, and did it to fill her days.

North Staffordshire Magistrates Court sentenced her to a month in prison - suspended for 12 months. She will pay £45 costs and a £80 victim surcharge. The magistrate also ruled that she will face jail if she steals again.

Saga-Louts

She's not the only one to turn to crime in old age. The number of people over the age of 60 in jail has apparently risen 20% since 2008. One jail in Portsmouth even has a wing with a stairlift.

A study last summer identified the rise of the Saga-Lout. It used a freedom of information request to discover how many pensioners were being arrested, and found one criminal had been caught at the age of 110, and one at 101.

According to the Guinness Book of Records, the oldest criminal gang on record is a group of British pensioners with an average age of 57. In 2009 they pleaded guilty to counterfeiting charges. They were thought to have produced £5 million of fake currency.

A contender for the title of Britain's oldest thief is George Brignall. In 2005, at the age of 92, he was caught stealing books worth £61 from a neighbour's garden in Goole, East Yorkshire. He was arrested while trying to escape on his mobility scooter.

But the title of the longest criminal career could be due to Richard Blaylock from Carlisle, who was 76 years old when he was jailed in 2009 for burglary. He has 69 convictions - with the first in 1943 - and has spent more than 42 years in prison.

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