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Employee who ripped off charity shop weeps in court

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

John Garvey

john.garvey@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886628

court gavel

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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Article comments

  • rachaele

    18/01/2019 - 10:10

    Disgusting. As a local volunteer for the guide dogs (and I've recently raised thousands for the charity) and someone who is on the waiting list for her own, it's disgusting that someone can do this. At least she has to repay the full amount. The charity are so good at vetting new volunteers too - I've never had such an intense recruitment process for a volunteer role - but I guess it's still possible for people to slip through the net. I really hope this doesn't put people off donating. They do such a wonderful job for so many people in the area. The charity has been my lifeline since I lost most of my sight following a stroke nearly a year ago.

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    • GDEmp

      23/01/2019 - 16:04

      This person was not a volunteer and did not work at a charity shop but was an employee at Head Office and I don't think she is repaying the full amount stolen, possibly just pennies on the pound. And where do people get the idea that difficulties in their personal circumstances, past or present, somehow justify appalling behavior? Quite the contrary! Low self-esteem!!?? You don't do this sort of thing because you have low self-esteem, it's the other way around, surely? Out of character!!?? Sorry, but clearly a self-contradicting statement. Only people who wouldn't even consider dong this sort of thing can say it's out of character. She didn't lash out in a moment of crisis, she concealed theft from her colleagues over a sustained period. And to Rachaele: Thank you! Guide Dogs' volunteers are the lifeblood of the charity and give their time for nothing save the desire to make the world a better place. And they do that. Unfortunately people like Ms Moores have the opposite effect.

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