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Employee who ripped off charity shop weeps in court

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"She changed the process, telling her team it was because of their very high workload and it would help them out"

A CHARITY shop supervisor changed the store rules so she could steal nearly £1,000.

Victoria Moores sobbed throughbout the hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, January 10.

Clare Barclay, prosecuting, said: “This is a breach of trust case; theft by employee.”

She said 28-year-old Ms Moores was a supervisor at a Guide Dogs for the Blind charity shop, and in charge of public donations and cheques.

As such, the court heard, she was one of few people who had access to the keys to a safe and a locked drawer.

Ms Barclay said: “She was only supposed to be involved in locking and unlocking the doors – but she changed the process, telling her team it was because of their very high workload and it would help them out.”

In fact, she was helping herself to the public donations, magistrates were told.

Ms Barclay said that the cynical ploy came crashing down after an anonymous letter was sent to charity bosses accusing her of stealing from the charity.

She added: “The defendant was told the police would be involved...she began crying and said her sister had needed financial help.”

In fact, the court heard, Ms Moores was the one in financial trouble, having run up a £6,500 credit card bill among other debts.

Ms Moores, of Rodway Road, Tilehurst, admitted stealing from the charity shop in Reading between December 2017 and August last year.

Mike Phillips, defending, said his client had no previous convictions and suffered from “incredibly low self esteem” since a traumatic event in her childhood.

He added: “She allowed herself to be put upon tremendously [by the charity] in terms of her hours and responsibility, instead of standing up for herself and saying ‘this isn’t fair.’ This is extremely out of character for her and she is extremely remorseful.”

Magistrates told Ms Moores her actions constituted a serious breach of trust and could have done serious harm to the charity in terms of the public’s trust in it.

She was sentenced to 18 weeks in prison, suspended for 12 months.

In addition Ms Moores was required to complete 120 hours unpaid community work and ordered to pay £85 costs plus a statutory victim services surcharge of £115.

Finally, she was ordered to pay £936 in compensation to the Guide Dogs for the Blind.

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