“Desperate” Spar shopworkers stole £7K of scratchcards in Ollerton

Mansfield Magistrates Court
Mansfield Magistrates Court
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Two shopworkers stole nearly £7,000 of scratch cards from Spar in Ollerton because their wages were late, a court heard.

Annette Statham let Emma Pickering into the shop, on Forest Road, on three occasions to take the lottery cards from the safe between March 23 and April 5, last year, and helped herself once.

“They presented them at various outlets to claim £2,204 in prize money,” said David Miles, prosecuting.

“They weren’t aware that CCTV was operating and they made no effort to disguise themselves.”

Rebecca Williams, mitigating, said: “Neither woman has ever troubled the police before let alone the court system.

“Miss Statham said that she was being paid late. When she challenged her employer, he laughed in her face. She was in arrears with her rent and there were bailiffs waiting.”

Miss Williams said both Statham and Pickering had four-year-old children and they were struggling financially.

She said Pickering had been forced to choose between buying food and paying utility bills.

“The scratch cards were cashed when they didn’t have enough money for the basic neccessities - not luxuries,” she said.

“It’s not motivated by greed or substantial gain. They were behind on their wages by about £1,000 each. But this wasn’t the best way forward.

“They did this out of sheer desperation.”

In total £6,920 of scratch cards were stolen. Statham and Pickering said they were owed £900 and £600 respectively.

They both said they wouldn’t have taken more than they were owed.

Pickering stopped working at the shop just before the thefts began, the court heard.

Emma Pickering, 35, of Forest Road, Clipstone, and Annette Statham, 27, of Carlton Close, Forest Town, admitted burglary and fraud when they appeared at Mansfield Magistrates Court on Wednesday.

They received eight months in prison each, suspended for 12 months, with 120 hours of unpaid work.

They were each ordered to pay the Camelot Group £1,029, and Spar £1,500 in compensation.