Fenland van driver stole �400 from Boots to provide Christmas lunches for the lonely, court told

A VAN driver working for the Boots store in March stole �400 when entrusted to bank takings – and then doctored the books to try to cover her tracks.

Karen Doherty ripped pages from a paying-in book and forged another worker’s signature.

She appeared before Fenland magistrates for sentencing this week, after admitting two charges of theft. She was ordered to carry out 120 hours of unpaid work and pay �85 costs.

Doherty took the money because she felt the store should have paid her petrol money for using her own car on company business, the court was told.

She used some of the cash to provide meals for lonely people over the Christmas period.

David Chapple, mitigating, said: “She doesn’t feel it is right for anyone to feel lonely over Christmas.

“Because she was short of money, she used some of the money made available to her.”

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Doherty, 43, of Mallard Way, March, stole �200 on December 30 last year and another �200 on January 11.

Prosecuting at the first hearing, Nicola Rice said Doherty’s main job was to deliver medication to customers, but she was sometimes asked to take cash and the paying-in book to the Post Office.

The offences came to light when discrepancies were noticed in the paying-in book; on one occasion �1,720 should have been banked but paperwork had been altered to show the sum of �1,520. Another member of staff’s signature had been forged and a page ripped out.

On an earlier date, �1,595 should have been banked, but only �1,395 had been paid in.

Miss Rice said: “It was clear that the paying-in book had been doctored and less money was paid in on both occasions.”

Mr Chapple said: “She knows she brought this situation on herself; if she felt imposed upon she should have walked away from the job.

“This was an unsophisticated crime and bound to be detected. It has always been her wish to repay Boots.”

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