Mother steals hundreds of pounds from Top Shop

PUBLISHED: 13:00 17 May 2011

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Archant

‘IT WAS all too easy’ – says a single mum who stole hundreds of pounds from a high-street clothes shop in Weston.

Employee Christina Wakefield would scan items of clothing at Top Shop in High Street before making up refunds under customer and fake names.

Soon, the ‘one-off incident’ turned into a habit and in almost four months the 27-year-old had cashed in £667 to help her living expenses.

Appearing at North Somerset Courthouse on Monday, Wakefield, who lives in Edinburgh Place, pleaded guilty to a charge of theft from employer.

She admitted taking money from the store’s till on numerous occasions using the method from July 6 to November 25.

In mitigation, Ian Parker, representing Wakefield, said she began taking the money due to difficult financial circumstances, but it ‘spiralled out of control’.

He said: “She was living with a partner who was drinking heavily and she could not turn to for support – so she took money from the store.

“It was all too easy and, having done it once, it was simple to do again whenever she needed the money.

“But soon, she admits, it became a problem and she was out of her depth, it was a foolish thing to do.”

Wakefield, who now works for a telesales company, now lives on her own with her nine-year-old daughter.

Magistrates gave her a 12-month community order which included 80 hours of unpaid work.

She must also pay court costs of £85.

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