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Charity shop manager facing jail for stealing £7,500 from till

PUBLISHED: 14:22 05 February 2016 | UPDATED: 14:22 05 February 2016

Scope in Barkingside. Picture: Google Maps

Scope in Barkingside. Picture: Google Maps

Archant

A shop manager for a disabled children’s charity is facing jail after stealing £7,500 from the till to help her unemployed boyfriend pay rent.

Carly Hart, 41, of Hillcrest Road, Hornchurch, admitted taking wads of cash home from Scope UK, High Street, Barkingside when finishing her shifts at the store.

Barkingside Magistrates’ Court heard on Wednesday how she had been using the money to pay her boyfriend’s rent after he fell behind, as well as helping her daughter pay college fees.

Prosecutor Sulochana Singh said: “The defendant was recruited as manager of the shop and was responsible for cashing up the till at the end of each day. She began taking the money home in bags.”

Hart, who had worked for Scope UK for two years in a paid position, was eventually caught and sacked after admitting taking £250-300 a day home over the course of a month late last year.

The court heard how she had started a relationship with a homeless man and found a flat for him, as well as work at a car wash.

But he lost his job and “fell out with people at the job centre”, landing himself in £4,000 rent arrears.

Gerard Shaw, mitigating, said Hart had a history of depression and thought she would get into trouble as the guarantor for his rent money, so used the stolen cash to help him pay it off.

“She got into a relationship with this man who clearly wasn’t reliable,” he said. “She began taking money believing he would pay it back but he didn’t keep his job and so she continued taking money to pay his rent.

“She’s worked in retail for 25 years and has never done anything like this before.”

Deputy district judge Tom King said despite her previous good character and early guilty plea, he believed Hart’s crime required a sentence of one to three years.

Hart was released on unconditional bail to be sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on February 24.

Ralph Beevers, head of area operations at Scope, said: “We were shocked to discover this member of staff had taken money from our shop.

“We expect the highest standards from all our staff, and we took immediate action as soon as this issue came to light.

“Whilst we were very disappointed with her actions, we were relieved much of the money was returned.

“Staff and volunteers at our shop work incredibly hard to raise vital funds for disabled people and their families, so this theft was a real blow.”

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