Landlady stole to buy beer for punters

A LANDLADY of a Suffolk pub took money from the post office where she was sub-postmistress to buy beer for her punters, a court heard.Between July 1 and November 10 last year Jean Senior “borrowed” £6,259.

A LANDLADY of a Suffolk pub took money from the post office where she was sub-postmistress to buy beer for her punters, a court heard.

Between July 1 and November 10 last year Jean Senior “borrowed” £6,259.98 from the sub post office based at the Case is Altered pub she runs in Capel Road, Bentley, to purchase alcohol from the brewery.

Kevin McCarthy, prosecuting, told South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court that Senior, 58, had been sub-postmistress for 17 months prior to her suspension in November last year.

He said: “It came to light the defendant had been borrowing money from the sub post office account to shore up her public house account.

“Information received by the post office revealed she had been borrowing money since July 2005 to fund the purchase of beer and alcohol from the brewery.”

Mr McCarthy, acting on behalf of the post office, said that when Senior was interviewed over the allegations, she made full admissions.

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He also revealed that nearly all of the money taken had since been paid back by the defendant - something she said she had always planned to do.

Magistrates were told Senior, who runs the Case is Altered with her husband, was of previous good character.

She pleaded guilty to a charge of theft from an employer.

The post office hit the headlines when it opened in June 2004 because of its unusual location and quickly proved popular with villagers.

Mark Holt, mitigating, said: “She is an older lady and so her previous good character spans over a great period.

“She had held the position (at the sub post office) for about 17 months and it was only during the last 12 weeks that money was taken. There has been repayment of these monies.”

Mr Holt said he had “significant mitigation” for his client, but would spare the court until she was to be sentenced. He also revealed he had a number of character references for Senior.

Magistrates delayed sentencing until May 16 by which time a pre-sentence report will be completed, but warned Senior the starting point was custody.

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