Shoplifting gran tried to frame postmaster and wife as child abusers and gun-runners before being banned from store

Shoplifting gran tried to frame postmaster and wife as child abusers and gun-runners before being banned from store

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GB News
George Bunn

By George Bunn

Published: 12/04/2024

- 10:17

Updated: 12/04/2024

- 10:17

Rachel McKee, 51, has avoided jail after pleading guilty Chester Crown Court

A criminal grandmother falsely accused a postmaster and his wife of being child abusers after being banned from their shop.

Rachel McKee, 51, told police in an anonymous phone call that Alan and Lisa Bolshaw were hiding a gun in their Cheshire shop.

She also made false accusations of child abuse to social services, which led to the couple's daughter being taken out of class and questioned.

When questioned by police McKee apologised for the comments but blamed her behaviour on mental health issues she claimed were triggered by her going through the menopause.

Sutton General Stores

McKee made the accusation about the family running Sutton General Stores

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The incident occurred on February 7 2023 when police officers were ordered to attend Sutton General Stores and Post Office near Macclesfield at 5pm over malicious reports the couple were storing and selling firearms and drugs.

Prosecutor Peter Hussey said: "A search was made of the premises and no weapon was found. The Bolshaws said the defendant had been a customer of their premises.

"On a number of occasions she has been suspected of stealing so she was banned from the premises. She had returned later in the course of the year and committed further suspected offences, which caused her to be banned again."

At Chester Crown Court McKee, who was previously twice convicted of shoplifting, pleaded guilty to perverting the course of justice and was sentenced to 10 months in prison suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to complete 25 rehabilitation activity days and abide by a night-time curfew for four months.

She was further issued with a 10-year restraining order prohibiting her from contacting or approaching the Bolshaw family. She was also instructed not to post anything on social media that directly or indirectly refers to any member of the family or their business.


Chester Crown Court (file pic)

McKee admitted to the crimes at Chester Crown Court (file pic)


In a statement read out to the court, Lisa Bolshaw said: "Though there was no physical injury, I do worry if I see Rachel in my local area, whether there will be verbal or physical abuse.

"I do feel vulnerable and intimidated if I see Rachel. Our daughter was impacted by being questioned at school about her worries and home life."

Mitigating, Maria Masselis said: "She has made it clear that she accepts what she did was terrible and she does not seek to justify it in any way. She was recently separated from an extremely long marriage having been together for 30 years.

"The marriage broke down some 12 months ago and there was some reference to reconciliation but that simply is not going to work. That is not something on the cards. She is a woman who has clearly struggled for a long time with her mental health."

Sentencing her, Judge Simon Berkson said: "The act you did caused Alan and Lisa Bolshaw, hardworking people who work in their own post office, to have to open up the post office to prove that what you were doing was lying to the police because they had no such gun.

"Neither had they done any of the other things you accused them of doing over a period of time. This was a type of crime that can get people into a lot of trouble and it has caused positive distress to people. It is a serious offence of its type.

"As far as this case is concerned, it is clear to me that at the time you were behaving as has been described you were suffering because of your mental health. In fact, you have been suffering over a long period of time but specifically over this period of time the offence took place your mental health took a downward turn.

"Since this offence you have had the good sense to seek help and you are now receiving treatment. It seems to me that immediate custody would have a significant harmful impact on your son and the granddaughter you take time to care for in various ways."

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