Hornchurch woman ordered to pay back more than £7,000 she defrauded from pharmacy she worked at
PUBLISHED: 15:03 16 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:03 16 September 2020
A Hornchurch woman who defrauded more than £7,000 from the pharmacy she worked at has been ordered to repay the money.
Chantelle Arthur, 30, was also handed a 12-month community order when she was sentenced at Barkingside Magistrates Court yesterday (September 15).
It was found that, between July 10 and October 10 2018, 26 transactions — totalling £7,270 — were deposited from Mayland Pharmacy’s bank account into Arthur’s personal account.
The owner was alerted to the fraud after his bank identified that a large number of suspicious transactions had been made from the account of the Upper Rainham Road pharmacy.
Arthur, of Calbourne Avenue, was first interviewed in July 2019, entering a guilty plea to the fraud charge at the earliest opportunity thereafter on July 31. It was her first criminal conviction.
A victim impact statement provided outlined that the owner felt Arthur had abused a “position of trust”, adding that although the pharmacy could absorb the loss, someone else may not have be able to.
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Defence solicitor Danielle Glickman, from Hanson Woods Solicitors, urged the bench to avoid a custodial sentence, arguing that the offence was not committed “to live a lavish lifestyle”, but out of “financial desperation”.
By way of mitigation she explained that Arthur is a single mother who was struggling to pay for childcare while she worked.
After failing to get help from her daughter’s father, she fell into rent arrears.
Admitting that, in hindsight, Arthur should have left her job given the childcare burden, Ms Glickman said her client resorted to fraud “to put food on the table”.
The pre-sentence report — prepared ahead of the hearing — recommended a 12-month community order, assessing Arthur as “low-risk”, both in terms of harm and of re-offending.
In agreeing with that recommendation, the magistrates nonetheless highlighted the seriousness of the offence, emphasising that Arthur had abused a position of trust.
The community penalty — with a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement — was accompanied by an order that Arthur pay back the £7,270 in full, at £50 per month.
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