Woman steals sister-in-law’s café cash

The Dr Fox Cafe on the end Knightstone Island.

The Dr Fox Cafe on the end Knightstone Island. - Credit: Archant

A ‘TRUSTED’ employee stole more than £7,000 from her sister-in-law’s café, a court was told this week.

Sue Gibbons, aged 41, admitted taking cash from Dr Fox’s Tearoom in Weston between April and August last year.

She helped herself to £7,410 from the café’s takings which she had been entrusted to take to the bank, North Somerset Courthouse was told on Monday.

May Li, prosecuting, said Gibbons was only caught when her sister-in-law, Tania Gibbons, noticed £1,970 had not been paid in.

Ms Li said: “Gibbons was spoken to and said she had found it in a safe in her house and then paid it back.”

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Tania then conducted a thorough check of the bank slips and found a further £5,440 had not been paid in.

Ms Li added: “In interview she (Gibbons) admitted taking the money but said she couldn’t remember what she did with it or how much she had taken.”

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Judith Mills, defending, said Gibbons had moved to Weston shortly after marrying Tania’s brother and had agreed to help out at the Knightstone Causeway café in return for food.

Ms Mills said: “When she came to Weston she was living in supported accommodation. Tania asked Mrs Gibbons if she would be prepared to help out at the tearoom she was starting up. It seems she was there as a full-time employee, not getting paid, but working very long hours.

“This went on for some time. Gibbons began to think she was being taken advantage of and accepts that it was for the best initially, but moved on to the extent that she was being taken advantage of.”

Ms Mills also disputed claims that her client was a ‘trusted employee’, as the prosecution had originally stated.

She said: “Her main occupation was washing up so to say she was a trusted employee is right in a sense but not in others.

“She was sent to the bank with money but otherwise she did whatever she was told to do.”

The court was told that about £3,000 of the money stolen had not yet been paid back to the café.

Gibbons, who has since left Southside in Weston and moved to Newport, was handed a nine-week suspended sentence for 12 months after pleading guilty to one count of theft by an employee.

She was also imposed with a supervision order, a curfew and ordered to pay the outstanding money back.

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