Cut price shopping scam trial

A CASHIER at an Ipswich supermarket and two customers were involved in a scam to get cut price shopping, it was alleged yesterday.On one occasion Michael Hewitt passed through a checkout at Asda operated by Beverly Astley and paid £19.

A CASHIER at an Ipswich supermarket and two customers were involved in a scam to get cut price shopping, it was alleged yesterday.

On one occasion Michael Hewitt passed through a checkout at Asda operated by Beverly Astley and paid £19.14 despite the fact that his shopping included a £45 bottle of champagne and a £30 pair of trainers, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Rupert Overbury prosecuting said that 39 low value items were shown on the till roll.

He said that however the goods were passed through the checkout it was plain that Hewitt wasn't charged properly.


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Mr Overbury alleged that two days later on October 12 last year the same scam took place again.

On that occasion Hewitt was driven to Asda by his partner Susan Brooks who helped him do the shopping and then left the store while he took his purchases through Astley's checkout.

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On this occasion, alleged Mr Overbury, Hewitt was charged £14.67 for goods worth £220 including a £150 DVD player.

This meant he made a saving of £206 claimed Mr Overbury.

He said that when the till receipt was checked by security staff it was found that the DVD player had been checked through as a 49p cauliflower.

Hewitt, 30, of Morgan Drive, Ipswich and Astley, 41, of Downside Close, Ipswich have denied two offences of theft and Brooks, 40, also of Morgan Drive has denied one offence of theft.

After the second alleged theft Hewitt was stopped as he left the store and Astley was removed from her till.

Mr Overbury claimed that although the defendants told police they didn't know each other there was evidence of telephone calls between the two households.

After her arrest Astley told the police that her heart hadn't been in the job and whatever had happened was an accident.

Hewitt claimed that any undercharging of goods had been Asda's fault for not checking that items purchased came to the correct amount.

His partner Brooks admitted going shopping with him but she said she had left the store while he went through the checkout.

The trial continues.

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