A CASHIER at a South Tyneside supermarket stole more than £1,600 from her till over a two-month period.
Michelle Rutherford took the cash during her shifts at Asda in South Shields, bit by bit, to try to repay credit card bills that she couldn’t afford.
The 48-year-old’s scam was uncovered after bosses investigating a drop in takings watched CCTV that showed her pocketing money on a number of occasions.
Rutherford, of Longfield Close on the Parkway Estate, South Shields, was arrested and has now lost her job.
She pleaded guilty to theft at South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Paul Anderson, prosecuting, told the court that Rutherford stole a total of £1,650.
He said: “This is a person of previous good character who worked at Asda.
“It became apparent there was a number of discrepancies with takings, and tills were short.
“Investigations were undertaken and CCTV covering the tills in question was checked,
“It showed this lady was responsible for taking money on about six or seven occasions covering two months.”
Mr Anderson said when Rutherford was interviewed by police she said she had debts that she couldn’t cover.
He added: “She said she couldn’t remember what she had taken and when, but was surprised at the amount it came to.”
Christopher Brown, defending, said: “She has no previous matters recorded against her, and it is sad when someone comes before the court for the first time.
“It is especially the case for this lady. She had got herself into a situation where she had financial obligations that she couldn’t manage.”
A report from the probation service said Rutherford couldn’t explain why she had stolen the money but was genuinely remorseful.
Magistrates gave her a 12-month community order with supervision and 70 hours of unpaid work.
She was also told to pay £1,000 compensation to Asda.