A duty manager at a Kenilworth store stole cash and lottery scratch cards in a series of sophisticated thefts to support her drug habit and to help pay her mortgage.
But Chloe Redmire escaped being jailed when she appeared at Warwick Crown Court after pleading guilty to theft from the Wilko store in Station Road.
Redmire, 25, of Bankcroft, Sydenham, Leamington, was sentenced to ten months in prison suspended for two years and was ordered to do 200 hours of unpaid work and to take part in a rehabilitation activity.
Prosecutor Graeme Simpson said that Redmire, who was of previous good character, worked at the Wilko store in Kenilworth where she became a supervisor and duty manager.
But between April and September last year she stole a total of £24,429 in cash from the tills and an ATM machine and in scratch cards.
Mr Simpson explained that as well as stealing money when she had to restock the ATM machine, Redmire stole cash from the tills by switched the cash pouches after turning off the power.
When she was finally caught, she said that following a power cut she had realised the tills had to be re-set, and she was able to input a figure to cover up the missing money.
Mr Simpson said there was ‘a degree of sophistication’ to the thefts of cash, and the scratch card theft was also ‘fairly elaborate.’
Using her position as duty manager, Redmire was able to activate batches of cards which she would then steal, taking cards worth £10,450 over the six-month period.
And after checking the cards, she claimed payouts on them totalling £5,363 from the store.
Judge Andrew Lockhart QC commented that Redmire, who was in a position of trust, had moved money between the tills and the ATM and had altered financial documents to cover up the shortfall.
Redmire was unrepresented in court, but the judge observed that in a pre-sentence report on her it was said she had committed the offences to fund a drug habit and to make some of her mortgage repayments.
And he told her: “I am not going to send you immediately to custody today. A sentence of imprisonment it is, but it will be suspended.
“I have read the pre-sentence report, and I understand you have had a difficult childhood and upbringing.
“But between April and September, having risen up through the ranks at that store to become a supervisor and duty manager, across the course of that period you chose to steal in the region of £25,000 in cash and scratch cards.
“You knew how the system worked, and you went to the tills and swapped bags and lost it in the system.
“It would have required a good deal of planning and a good deal of knowledge which only you as a supervisor would have had, and you used your position also to acquire and activate scratch cards which gave you winnings of in excess of £5,000.
“There was a high degree of trust because you were a manageress, and there was a high degree of sophistication. You altered financial documents to cover your actions.
“But you have expressed remorse and say you are disgusted at your offending.
“I understand the difficulties which would be placed on you in custody, and I am satisfied you are remorseful, but this was serious offending.”