A COUPLE responsible for what one defence lawyer labelled an inept burglary at B&Q will learn their fate later this month.

Ashley Rees and Suzanne Tayler were picked up in a secure stock area at the hardware store with £950 of power tools just a fortnight after a judge sentenced them to 250 hours’ unpaid work for swiping thousands of pounds worth of clothes from the Outlet Village.

But Swindon Magistrates’ Court was told by solicitor Tony Hall, for 29-year-old Tayler, that “it was about as inept a burglary as you will ever come across”.

“It was a secluded part of a larger premises, but it was covered by CCTV and there are other workers,” he added. “The goods are immediately taken away from Miss Tayler.”

JPs sent the case to the crown court to be sentenced, saying the offences were so serious the matters needed to be heard before a judge. Magistrates bailed the pair and banned them from every shop in Swindon except Aldi before their crown court hearing.

The court heard the couple had previous convictions for theft, most recently in January. Mark Glendenning, for Rees, said the pair were speaking to their probation officer about a moving to Birmingham, giving them a fresh start.

Rees had stolen “in order to get some money to tide him over”, Mr Glendenning added. Although his client had a history of drug abuse, he was now clean of the addiction.

He pleaded guilty to burglary and also admitted damaging the wall of the custody suite at Gablecross Police Station and assaulting a detention officer when he pushed over a cup of coffee.

His partner Tayler admitted the burglary at B&Q, also pleading guilty to shoplifting a £135 television from John Lewis on January 30 and burgling a charity box from the Diamond Kebab House in Gorse Hill a day later.

Mr Hall, for Tayler, said the woman’s relationship with drugs went back to her childhood: “Having been born to a mother who was abusing heroin, there was some element of inculcation of drugs since before she was born.”

However, he said the common thread in the most recent thefts had been alcohol.

The solicitor branded her criminal efforts cack-handed. She abandoned a TV pinched from John Lewis when she was followed from the shop by store security and, after taking a charity box from the kebab shop, confessed to a man waiting in a nearby car and asked him to call the police. "Miss Tayler is in effect instrumental in the charity box's recovery," Mr Hall added.

Rees and Tayler will next appear before Swindon Crown Court on February 21.