A HARD-UP Asda cashier pocketed £1,500 takings because she was in debt, Burnley magistrates heard.
Shirley Caton (53) took cash from the till almost every week over six months. She was caught out after suspicious bosses set up a covert camera and saw her in the act.
Caton, of Ulster Street, Burnley, had taken as much as £50 a time. She had no previous convictions,
She admitted theft between February and August last year and was given a community order, with 80 hours unpaid work, and must pay £500 compensation.
Mrs Alex Mann (prosecuting) said Caton had worked at Burnley Asda, in Princess Way, for five or six years. Security staff and the assistant manager thought she might be taking money, set up the camera and saw her put coins in a bag and in her jacket pocket. She was stopped and £35 was taken from her.
Mrs Mann said at first the defendant claimed she just took a couple of pounds, but then said she took up to £50.
Mr John Nuttall (defending) said she had found herself in desperate straits. She had now lost her job and good character.
Caton had been under pressure to pay debts, most of which were left by her former partner, but credit card companies and banks now accepted she had no money. She faced the loss of her home if things did not improve.
Mr Nuttall said she showed genuine remorse and apologised.
He told magistrates: “I can tell you it’s been a salutary lesson and I think it’s safe to say this lady will not be returning to court. She is genuinely ashamed of what’s happened.”
Sentencing, the Bench said the defendant’s actions had been a breach of trust. The chairman added: “No matter how big a company is, it’s still theft from a company.”