David O’Connell

Silhouette image via Wikimedia Commons

David O’Connell, a male transvestite, was convicted at Leicester Crown Court in 2009 of two counts of theft and sentenced to 16 months in prison.

O’Connell, 48, was caught shoplifting three dresses, three tops and a skirt at a Marks & Spencer store in April 2008. When police searched his home in Coventry, they found an ”Aladdin’s cave” of 6,400 items of women’s clothing and underwear from Marks and Spencer stored in wardrobes and boxes, many with tags still on. Over just two-and-a-half years, O’Connell had stolen“bras of every shade and size” and identical pairs of size-eight knickers. The court heard he stole the clothes for sexual gratification.

Just three months after it was found O’Connell was arrested again as he tried to start a new collection with a raid on an M&S in Birmingham.

He has previous convictions for shoplifting dating back to 1985 and in 2001 was previously jailed for stealing £100,000 from an accountancy firm.

Judge Simon Hammond said: ”He has a sexual fetish in relation to female clothing.The irony is this: the defendant could have bought this clothing himself (O’Connell was a finance director who trained as an accountant but did not qualify).

The court also heard O’Connell suffered abuse as a child.

Every item in O’Connell’s hoard was eventually returned to M&S, which was (bizarrely) reported as ‘expect[ing] to sell the clothes to its staff at knockdown prices.’

Media reports

Coventry Telegraph https://www.coventrytelegraph.net/news/coventry-news/transvestite-stole-120000-ms-lingerie-3075290  archive 

Daily Mirror https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/cross-dressing-director-jailed-for-stealing-120k-426161  archive

Daily Telegraph https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/6389479/Finance-director-jailed-for-stealing-Marks-and-Spencer-womens-underwear.html  archive