Newsagent employee repeatedly stole scratchcards from her bosses

Chesterfield magistrates' court.
Chesterfield magistrates' court.

A shop assistant betrayed her bosses and left their Chesterfield town centre newsagent out of pocket after she was caught repeatedly playing scratchcards without paying for them.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard on January 3 how Caroline Williamson, 60, of New Street, Grassmoor, Chesterfield, was captured on CCTV playing the cards during the same day she was working at the till at Devon House News, on Glumangate.

Rod Chapman, prosecuting, said: “The complainants had recently bought the business and on being presented with the audited accounts it became apparent there was a discrepancy and that seemed to relate to the purchase and sale of lottery scratchcards.

“This case only relates to what was discovered after the discrepancy was highlighted. An audit was carried out on July 1 and 2 and the shop was re-opened and a further audit was carried out on July 3 and it was discovered that £249 worth of scratchcards had been removed and not paid for.”

Mr Chapman added CCTV showed Williamson scratching cards on July 3 and putting them into a bin under the counter and on occasions she opened the till and put money in and on other occasions she would put a card through the machine as a winner.

The bin was discovered with used cards, according to Mr Chapman, and the business was found to be £249 out of pocket from July 3. Williamson told police she had worked at Devon House News since 1994 and she admitted removing the cards and not paying for them.

She added her life had begun to spiral out of control after close friends had become seriously ill and she had struggled to keep up with changes at the shop. Williamson, who has no previous convictions, pleaded guilty to the theft.

Steve Brint, defending, said Williamson seems to have had a mental breakdown and she has been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Magistrates sentenced Williamson to a 12 month conditional discharge. She must pay £249 compensation, £85 costs and a £20 victim surcharge.