Tesco employee accused of stealing £100,000 in cash, clothes and gift cards from Copdock superstore over 10-year period

Tesco Copdock, Ipswich

Tesco Copdock, Ipswich

A Tesco customer services advisor has appeared in court accused of stealing goods worth more than £100,000 from the Copdock superstore where she worked.

Julie Last, of Stamford Close, Ipswich, is alleged to have committed the theft of clothing, cash, and gift cards over a 10-year period.

The 50-year-old made her first appearance on five charges before Ipswich magistrates yesterday during a hearing lasting less than 10 minutes. Represented by her solicitor Andrew Cleal, the court was told Last would not be entering a plea to the accusations at this stage.

Prosecutor Wayne Ablett asked the magistrates to commit the case to Ipswich Crown Court as it was felt the matter was so serious it should be heard at the higher court.

Last – who had worked for Tesco for 20 years – was on unconditional bail, which the magistrates were asked to extend.

At the end of the hearing the chairman of the bench told Last: “This is not suitable for trial at this court. We are sending this matter to the crown court.

“Your next court appearance will be at Ipswich Crown Court on December 4 for a preliminary hearing.”

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Unconditional bail was granted.

A trial window has been set for between April 6 and May 15 next year.

Last is accused of converting criminal property and four counts of theft by employee.

One of the theft charges alleges that between January 1, 2004 and November 28, 2013, she stole cash belonging to Tesco.

Another charge alleges that between January 1, 2008 and November 28, 2013, Last stole 68 gift cards and cash belonging to the supermarket giant.

Two other accusations involve the alleged theft of quantities of clothing from the store in November 2013.

Last was arrested in late 2013. She was questioned at the police investigation centre at Suffolk Constabulary’s Martlesham headquarters, before being released on bail pending further enquiries.

She was charged when she answered bail at the police investigation centre earlier this month.

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