Leeds shoplifter hid iPhone in her bra in prison, stole jeans worth £1,000 from River Island, St Tropez fake tan from Superdrug and bedding from Matalan

A prolific shoplifter stole over a £1,000 worth of jeans from a River Island store in Leeds during a theft spree.

Saturday, 16th May 2020, 6:00 am

Channon Banks carried out the offences months after being caught with an iPhone in her cell at HMP New Hall women's jail

Leeds Crown Court heard officers at the jail went to her cell on September 9 last year after receiving information that she was in possession of a banned item.

Banks denied having any illegal items on her but the mobile phone was found in her bra as she was searched.

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Channon Banks stole over 1,000 worth of jeans from River Island on Briggate

The 22-year-old defendant then admitted to officers that she also had a charging cable for the device and showed them where it was.

Banks was released from custody on New Year's Eve and went on to commit a series of theft offences.

Paul Nicholson, prosecuting, said Banks stole 20 pairs of jeans, worth £840, from the River Island store on Briggate in Leeds city centre, on January 6.

She returned to the same store a day later and stole more jeans and other items of clothing worth £461.

Channon Banks was caught with iPhone hidden in her bra at HMP New Hall

Mr Nicholson said Banks was involved in the theft of bedding worth £800 from the Matalan store in Halton on January 23.

She was caught on camera entering the store with a man and a woman and they left with the items without paying for them.

Later the same day Banks was among a group of three people who raided shelves of razors, toothbrushes and other toiletries from a Tesco store in Sleaford, Lincolnshire.

Her final offence was carried out on April 23 when she stole 14 bottles of St Tropez fake tan, worth £280, from Superdrug in Wakefield city centre.

Shoplifter Channon Banks helped steal 800 worth of bedding from Matalan, in Halton.

Mr Nicholson said Banks placed the items in a foil-lined bag to prevent alarms being activated as she left store.

She then handed the bag to a man outside the store.

Banks, of Stanks Drive, Stanks, Leeds, pleaded guilty to possessing a mobile phone in prison and five offences of theft.

She has 25 previous convictions, mainly for shoplifting offences.

Michael Walsh, mitigating, said Banks committed the theft offences after being released from prison as she had no money and nowhere to live.

He said Banks had only used the phone on two occasions - to ring her father and probation officer - before authorities were alerted.

Mr Walsh said Banks had not intending to use the phone to commit further offences.

Banks was jailed for 16 months.

Describing the offending, Judge Neil Clark said: "There is a degree of professionalism here."