Mother who stole from her employers in Broughton feared she would lose her home

Reporter:

Matt Warner

A  mother of five stole from her employers when she was desperate and when she was threatened with losing her home.

Defendant Samantha Jane Mary Price, 32, of Scots Road in Mancot, rose from catering assistant to manager at Asda Living on the Broughton Shopping Park.

But she took cash out of the till between October and December of last year – a total of £4,265.

At Flintshire Magistates’ Court at Mold, she admitted theft and was told that it had been a breach of trust by an employee.

She was placed on a 12 month community with 60 hours unpaid work – and was ordered to pay £2,442 compensation and £400 prosecution costs.

Magistrates, who heard that some wages and holiday pay had been withheld from the company after she resigned, said that the award of compensation did not rule out the possibility that her employers could take civil action against her.

A woman of good character, she was told that she had now lost her good name and had a criminal record.

Prosecutor Justin Espie said Price was the café manager responsible for the day to day running of the café and she was the only keyholder for the safe.

The regional manager noticed problems in the accounts in November and when challenged she blamed a system error.

But in December she did not turn up for work and sent an email in which she resigned and admitted taking money.

She said that she could not pay the money back.

Probation officer Pamela Roberts said that the defendant had been receiving universal credit but the payments were erratic and she got into financial difficulties.

She had rent arrears and a possession order was served upon her.

The family had lived at the house for 15 years and the possession order would remain on the property for 12 months.

Miss Roberts said that the defendant had been tearful in interview and was extremely remorseful and ashamed.

Defending solicitor Phillip Lloyd Jones said that his client had pleaded guilty at the first hearing after she admitted to the company and to the police what she had done.

There had been an issue over quantum but once the issue had been clarified she accepted the figure put forward by the prosecution.

She was receiving debt counselling from the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

The defendant had worked for the company for six years, had moved up from a catering assistant to the manager, she had five children and she and her husband were estranged.

She had responsibility for children aged between 15 and eight and had huge daily responsibilities.

Email:

matt.warner@nwn.co.uk

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