A WOMAN has admitted stealing from a charity which employed her.

Irene Elaine Acton, 50, stole from the till at the Barnado’s charity shop in Rhosddu Road, Wrexham, where she worked.

A court heard yesterday that in addition to dipping into the till, she did not register some money she had received from customers – and kept it.

Acton, of Primrose Way, Wrexham, admitted stealing cash – thought to be in the region of £100 – from Barnado’s between January and November of last year.

At Wrexham Magistrates’ Court, sitting at Mold, she was told it was not only a breach of trust against her employers, but a breach of trust against the whole community, in view of the nature of the charity.

She was ordered to put something back into the community by carrying out 80 hours unpaid work.

As part of a 12-month community order, she was sent on a 10-day financial management course run by the probation service.

Acton must also pay £100 compensation and £85 prosecution costs.

She was said to have acted in desperation because of debts following her divorce.

Prosecutor Alun Humphreys said that at a meeting at the shop, Acton denied any dishonesty.

But when the police were called in and she was arrested and interviewed, she admitted taking cash and said it was about £100 in total.

She was in debt and the money stolen had been used to help reduce that debt.
Emma Simoes, defending, said the mother-of-three lived alone.

Despite working full-time she had come under pressure with letters and phone calls over the debts and had got herself into a terrible state.

“She deeply regrets her course of conduct in taking money from the store.

“My client knows that it is unforgivable,” she explained.

She accepted stealing from the shop and while she could not remember exactly how much she took, it was no more than £100.

“She is deeply ashamed and remorseful. It is no mitigation, but the money did go to pay off debts,” Miss Simoes explained.

Acton was hoping to get her life back on track and was planning to go and see a financial adviser.

She was a lady of no previous convictions who wanted to start afresh.

Magistrates said that she had let herself down and had effectively taken from the community.