Woman stole to pay debts
MASSIVE debts forced a shop assistant to steal almost £1,700 from the Boots store in Ely, a court has heard. Lorraine Bye, of Station Road, Manea, owed £13,000 in all – with more than £6,000 of that sum stacked up on credit card bills. Her circumstances f
MASSIVE debts forced a shop assistant to steal almost £1,700 from the Boots store in Ely, a court has heard.
Lorraine Bye, of Station Road, Manea, owed £13,000 in all - with more than £6,000 of that sum stacked up on credit card bills.
Her circumstances forced her to make 11 fake refunds at the Market Street store while working there as a shop assistant. The offences took place between November 11 last year and January 28.
Bye, who lost her job after being caught by covert CCTV equipment installed by store chiefs, made the refunds then hid the money she took each time in her sock, Ely Magistrates' Court heard on Thursday.
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The 27-year-old admitted three charges of stealing: one sum of £190 on November 11, another of £200 on January 28 and a third of £200 on the same day. Eight other offences were taken into consideration.
The court heard how Bye was caught when staff became suspicious about the number of high refunds being put through the tills.
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Covert CCTV equipment was installed and it was this which caught her. She was interviewed at work about the incidents, suspended while the police were called in to investigate, and then dismissed. Bye had stolen £1,690 in total.
Magistrates were told that the motive for her crime was her mounting debts.
In mitigation, John Aspinall said: "She is certainly, to my mind, full of remorse.
"I think it's very clear that she's very much learned her lesson simply by coming to court. I think it is unlikely that she will be here again."
In addition to the money she stole, Boots have asked that she pay £1,223 towards staff and management time costs as well as £1,128 towards the cost of CCTV. She has agreed to pay the store back at the rate of £40 per month.
Bye was ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work. In passing sentence, presiding magistrate Sue Griffin told her: "When we start looking at a charge of theft with breach of trust, we start by looking at prison.
"In your case, however, we feel that there are a number of factors which mean that we don't need to send you to prison.
"It's clear to us that you have learnt an extremely painful lesson.