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Post Office clerk stole £30k and lied about having cancer
7:00am Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
A POST Office clerk who lied about having cancer stole more than £30,000 to fund a lavish lifestyle of holidays.
Carly McBride, aged 26, of Holywell Drive, worked as a manager at Spar stores in the town that contained Post Office counters.
Warrington Crown Court heard on Friday how she took thousands of pounds in cash from safes, wrote phantom cheques, and stole foreign currency to the tune of £31,800.
Paulinus Barnes, prosecuting, said McBride attempted to avoid detection by tampering with computer systems, altering barcodes, and even sabotaging the till of a colleague who was off sick, to make it look like she had taken the money.
The ill gotten gains were banked in sums of up to £6,800 at a time and spent on trips to Malia, Amsterdam and Mallorca, an expensive flat and high street sprees.
When her luxurious lifestyle was questioned by other staff, the mum-of-one said she had been diagnosed with cancer ‘to get sympathy’, the court heard.
The scam began on February 1, 2011 and April 4, 2012, when she worked at Spar stores on Frobisher Court, Old Hall, and Dorchester Road, Hood Manor.
It was uncovered when McBride was seen on CCTV altering deposit bags, and a cheque she had written to herself was discovered.
She pleaded guilty to two counts of theft on August 2.
Sarah Badrawy, defending, said McBride had been in a ‘destructive relationship’, drinking heavily and taking drugs with an ex-partner.
“She found herself caught up in that,” said Mrs Badrawy.
“It is a cycle that is hard to break free from.
“She is ashamed of her behaviour and she is ashamed of the effect her behaviour will have on her daughter.”
Recorder Rowena Goode sentenced her to 16 months in prison suspended for 18 months, sparing her immediate custody as her daughter’s sole carer.
She said: “These offences constitute a gross breach of trust as you are well aware.
“It was a sophisticated level of planning and premeditated.
“You are an intelligent person - you have 12 GCSEs.
“There are features to the case the court finds very concerning, the way you attempted to bestow these matters on colleagues.
“Fortunately that did not come to fruition.”
McBride was also sentenced to 180 hours unpaid work.
A further court hearing will be made to decide how much money is to be repaid.
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