A YOUNG woman stole hundreds of pounds worth of hair thickener from a Basingstoke shop in a bid to boost her self-esteem.

Laura Willison stole the product from Boots, in The Malls, after having problems with her hair extensions, Basingstoke Magistrates’ Court heard.

The 22-year-old travelled from her home in Bedfordshire three times, twice with co-defendant Paul Jones, to steal goods from the store.

Kate Prince, prosecuting, said the pair were each caught with £250 of goods in carrier bags on March 3 this year.

She told the court: “At 2.20pm, the security guard was observing the two defendants in the store. He believed they were responsible for other theft offences. As they left the store, the alarm went off and the guard stopped both of them.”

The court heard CCTV footage showed the pair were responsible for a theft from the same shop on February 21, and that Willison had also shoplifted there on February 14.

Hilary Thomas, defending both of them, said unemployed Willison stole at first “for a thrill”.

She added: “She was attracted by the hair-thickening products. She has hair extensions and they have had a bad effect on her hair and her self-esteem. We might not see that but what she sees is a different matter entirely.”

Miss Thomas said Jones was a friend who joined in with the shoplifting to help pay for a cannabis addiction.

Willison, of Leaf Road, Dunstable, pleaded guilty to three counts of shoplifting while Jones, 38, of High Street North, Dunstable, pleaded guilty to two counts.

Presiding magistrate Della Creasy fined Willison £70, with £85 court costs and a £20 victim surcharge. The sentencing of Jones was adjourned until April 8 for a pre-sentence report.