Employee stole from Burgh Spar shop to fund scratch card addiction

A 59-year-old woman stole more than £400 from her employer to fund an addiction to scratch cards, a court has been told.

Mary Christine Guest of Johnson Way, Burgh le Marsh, admitted stealing £430 from the Spar shop in the village between March 28 and April 8 2013.

Paul Wood, prosecuting, told District Judge Richard Stobart sitting at Skegness Magistrates Court, that Ms Guest had been employed at the shop for 18 months when the owner realised money was being taken from the till.

A check of internal CCTV footage on the weekend of April 6-8, showed Ms Guest taking money from the till and putting it in her pocket and also taking scratch cards and pretending to put money for them into the till.

When she was spoken to she admitted taking £210 over that weekend and also taking money on previous occasions.

She said it was all to pay for her addiction to scratch cards.

Mitigating, Saleem Khan said Ms Guest had been to seek help for her gambling addiction as all the money she took was to fund that habit.

Judge Stobart said theft by an employee was a grave breach of trust and that suspicion often falls on others.

Fining her £350 and ordering her to repay £430 as well as £120 in costs and a victim surcharge, he said: “If anything like this happens again, the first thing the court will think of is sending you to prison.”