GUNMA (TR) – After a court last year handed former marathon champion Yumiko Hara, 36, a suspended prison term for shoplifting, Gunma Prefectural Police have arrested her again for the same crime, it has been learned, reports the Sankei Shimbun (Mar. 5).
At around 8:45 p.m. on February 9, Hara allegedly walked out of a supermarket in Ota City without paying for three items, including a bag of candy, valued at 382 yen that she had concealed in her clothing.
After the suspect was stopped by an employee at the store, she was turned over to police. “I intended to return the items before leaving,” the suspect told the Ota Police Station in denying the allegations. She was prosecuted on March 2.
In November, a court handed Hara a one-year prison term, suspended for three years, for stealing eight items worth about 2,700 yen from an outlet of convenience store chain 7-Eleven located in in Ashikaga City earlier that year.
During the trial, the defense argued that restrictions placed on her body weight during her career caused her to suffer from bulimia, a condition that led to her becoming a shoplifter. In handing down the ruling, the judge took into consideration that Hara entered a hospital voluntarily to receive treatment.
Hara took first place in the Nagoya International Women’s Marathon in 2005 and the Osaka International Ladies Marathon two years later.