Taylor, 51, initially denied his involvement in the burglary but pleaded guilty on the day of his scheduled trial at Newcastle Crown Court
A doorstep trickster who stole shampoo from a woman’s bathroom after asking to use her toilet has been convicted.
Stuart Taylor knocked on the door of a home in Readhead Road, South Shields, earlier this year and was met by a woman in her 60s.
Taylor, 51, offered to carry out gardening work for the woman and went on to ask whether he could use her toilet, which was located just inside the front door.
Later that day, the occupant – who claimed she felt “on edge” by Taylor’s visit – found shampoo and conditioner had been taken from the bathroom and contacted police.
Taylor, of Centenary Avenue, South Shields, initially denied burglary but yesterday (Tuesday) pleaded guilty at Newcastle Crown Court on the day of his scheduled trial.
He is due to be sentenced later this year.
Detective Constable John Baines, of the Southern Burglary Team, said: “Taylor may have only taken a bottle of shampoo and conditioner, but that does not excuse his dishonest and selfish behaviour.
“After trying to charm a woman on the doorstep, he then proceeded to enter her home and stole items that belonged to her.
“His actions were unacceptable and it is important that residents know we are committed to taking action against those who flout the law and prey on the generosity of others.
“The victim lives alone and has been left shaken by what happened. Nobody should be made to feel anxious in their own home.”
Following his arrest, Taylor was questioned by detectives about the burglary on March 24 and denied any involvement – claiming a case of “mistaken identity”.
However, with the weight of evidence against him overwhelming, yesterday Taylor admitted the offence on the day of his scheduled trial at Newcastle Crown Court. He will be sentenced on October 14.
In a statement, the victim said: “I am now a lot more wary about answering my front door, and other than friends and family, I am reluctant to let anybody into my home address.
“I feel anxious and nervous in my own home and I shouldn’t have to feel like this.
“Although the male only stole a bottle of conditioner and shampoo from me, had my bathroom been further away from the front door, he would have had access to more of my property and I could have potentially lost a lot more.
“I feel that my personal space has been violated. I want to be able to enjoy my retirement after working for my entire life and this is going to take me a long time to get over.”