Community sentence for worker who stole puschair from Mothercare at Copdock and sold it to unsuspecting police officer

A Mothercare shop worker who stole childcare and maternity items worth nearly £12,500 and sold them on eBay has been ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work in the community.

As well as stealing from her employer over a three year period, 24-year-old Hannah Lewis, who worked at the Mothercare store at Copdock, also sold a stolen pushchair to an unsuspecting police officer, Ipswich Crown Court heard.

Lewis, of Kempton Road, Ipswich, admitted theft by an employee between March 2012 and May this year and fraud by false representation.

In addition to the order for unpaid work she was also given a 36-hour attendance centre order and a 12-month community order.

Recorder Ian Evans also ordered Lewis to pay £200 prosecution costs.

Michael Crimp, prosecuting, said the offences came to light as a result of routine loss prevention enquiries by Mothercare which included examining activity on eBay websites.

As a result of these enquiries Lewis was arrested and interviewed by police about the use of her eBay accounts which had been used to sell Mothercare goods.

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Lewis made frank admissions to police and admitted stealing from Mothercare since 2012 and selling items on eBay.

Mr Crimp said the stolen items had been valued at £12,400 and Lewis had repaid all the money. An earlier court hearing heard that Lewis had met the off-duty police sergeant on a night out through a mutual friend at the beginning of April and told him she could get him a staff discount on a pushchair he wanted.

The officer, not realising how Lewis would obtain the buggy, agreed to the purchase believing she would buy the item at a discount.

His wife subsequently paid Lewis £200 for the pushchair.

Hugh Rowland, for Lewis, said his client had no previous convictions and had been working to repay the money she had borrowed to repay Mothercare.

He said although Lewis had three eBay accounts they had not all been used at the same time. He added that Lewis was hoping to train as a paramedic.