Husband and wife used barcode scam to defraud B&Q

B&Q re-opens after closing because of coronavirus. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN

B&Q re-opens after closing because of coronavirus. Pictures: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

A Norwich couple have admitted using a scam to swap the barcodes on items at B&Q.

Kevin Matthews, 56, and Melaine Matthews, 55, of Dereham Road, pleaded guilty to fraud after being caught on CCTV at B&Q at Boundary Road in Norwich on May 28 this year.

Norwich Magistrates Court heard footage showed Mr Matthews sticking the barcode of a cheap £70 pressure washing machine on a more advanced model costing almost £400 more.  

Staff had scanned CCTV after recognising the couple from having been caught during a previous theft from a different B&Q store in 2020.

Magistrates rejected Matthews' claim his actions had been spur of the moment, stating: “We don’t accept this was an opportunistic action. It is quite clear this is something you have done before and you knew exactly what you were doing.”

The couple were fined a total of £661 and ordered to jointly pay compensation of £391.