A BUSINESSWOMAN who had never been in any trouble succumbed to temptation and stole hundreds of pounds in cash when a night safe jammed.
Jeanette Ward, 50, was making a legitimate payment into the HSBC night safe at the Vista Business Centre at St David’s Park, Ewloe.
But when she opened the door she found the second door had jammed and the previous customer’s cash was still there.
Prosecutor Justin Espie said Ward, of Manor Close, Hawarden, stole the cash – a total of £2,663 – and some cheques, which had not been recovered.
Ward denied the theft but was convicted at trial.
At Flintshire Magistrates Court she was given a 12-month conditional discharge.
She was also ordered to pay the compensation in full to HSBC, together with £215 prosecution costs.
The court heard Ward, who was proprietor of her own business, attended at the automated night safe to make a deposit.
Magistrates were told the night safe was operated by two doors. When she opened the first door she found the second door had jammed and the previous customer’s cash and cheque had not fallen through into the safe, but were still there.
Ward took advantage and took the items, Mr Espie said.
Part of the offence was captured on CCTV.
Bethan Jones, defending, said her client had reached the age of 50 without a blemish on her character.
“This has had a huge impact on her life, her business and her family,” Miss Jones added.
The conviction would cause quite far reaching difficulties.
Miss Jones said she would not comment upon the offences.
“I am not in a position to mitigate the offence because she pleaded not guilty,” she told the court.
It was clear the second door in the safe had jammed during the Easter Bank Holiday weekend.
It was the prosecution case she had removed the money that was already there when she went to make a genuine deposit on her own behalf.
Ward ran a viable business, although like many others during the recession it had its ups and downs.
Miss Jones said the probation service had interviewed her client but there was no intervention or assistance they could provide.
“They don’t expect to see this lady in court ever again,” Miss Jones explained.