A MOTHER and son duo who stole up to £13,000 in goods from Asda have escaped jail without having to pay back a penny of the proceeds of their scam.

Julie and Dean Veale, of Pinehurst, both pleaded guilty to taking a host of items from the West Swindon store but because the exact value of items taken could not be established, they were not ordered to pay compensation.

Instead, the pair were ordered to carry out community service and told to pay £145 each in costs at Swindon Magistrates’ Court yesterday.

The court heard how while they had started out with the intention of paying bills, they had succumbed to greed.

Julie Veale, 57, of Spindle Tree Court, worked on a checkout till in the store. Her son Dean, 31, of Magnolia Court, would bring the items to the till but Julie would only scan through low value items.

The ruse was discovered after security guards became suspicious. On December 20 last year they stopped Dean Veale leaving the store with almost £300 pounds worth of goods in his possession and after investigating found he had only paid £17.

CCTV was inspected and they were found to have started stealing goods in February 2013, taking items such as perfume, toys and household goods.

The pair pleaded guilty to two counts of theft each on April 10, totalling £11,200 and £1600 respectively. However, neither the police nor Asda could put an exact figure so no application for compensation was made.

Mr Brown, chairman of the bench, took into account their early guilty plea and sentenced Julie to carry out 120 hours of community service as well as attend an education, training and employment course. Mr Veale was ordered to carry out 150 hours unpaid work.

The pair had first begun to start stealing after running into financial difficulties, including Mr Veale losing his benefits.

When Ms Veale was first arrested she told police she was “disgusted and ashamed” at what she had done. Because of the conviction Mark Glendenn-ing, defending the pair, pointed out that it would now be almost impossible for her to find a job which is why she was ordered to go on the course.

Mr Glendenning, said: “ Dean temporarily lost his benefits. Julie had been having to rely on her own mother for financial help but she had recently passed away. They started out to feed themselves. As time went by greed got the better of them.”

An Asda spokesman said: “We take incidents of shoplifting very seriously. We will always work with police and assist with their investigations.”