Post Office manager stole more than £10,000 to fund £200-a-day cocaine habit
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Victoria Rogers, 34, admitted taking the cash between July 2017 and October 2017 when she was manager at the Newtown Post Office in Boldon Colliery.
South Tyneside Magistrates’ Court was told at one point Rogers, of Lorrain Road, Whiteleas, South Shields, was taking up to four bags of cocaine a day at a cost of £50 a bag.
Glenda Beck, prosecuting, said an investigation was launched when customers started to complain the bills they had been paying at the Post Office were not being credited on their accounts.
She said it was found 78 reversals had been carried out – which is where a cashier can reverse the transaction if they make a mistake, but it is done in front of the customer who is shown the refund.
However, Rogers was carrying out the reversals and pocketing the money. The Post Office had to reimburse the customers a total of £10,851.35.
Ms Beck read a victim statement from the Post Office, which said: “Due to the breach of trust by Victoria Rogers members of the local community would not have had their various accounts credited.
“They have not had the level of service they expect from the Post Office. Due to her actions she would have damaged the reputation of the Post Office.”
Ms Beck said: “She said she was under the influence of cocaine throughout this period and can’t really remember taking the cash.
“But, stated it was her and she used the money to buy cocaine.
“She said she would like to pay the money back, but had not realised until now what this had totalled up to over the period.”
Jason Smith, defending, said mother-of-two Rogers was of previous good character, but her life changed when her 14 year relationship broke down in December 2016.
He said: “She experienced a breakdown and because of that suffered from significant depression. In order to keep going she decided to try a drug, which is never a good idea.”
He said there was no level of sophistication or pre-planning.
The case was adjourned to Newcastle Crown Court on November 6 for sentencing and Rogers was given unconditional bail.