Trimley post office workers spared jail after stealing £6,000 from employer
PUBLISHED: 10:01 15 February 2016 | UPDATED: 10:01 15 February 2016
Two workers at a Suffolk shop and post office have been spared jail after defrauding the business of £6,000 because one of them had a gambling addiction.
Hannah McCourt, formerly of St George’s Street, Felixstowe, but now of Deganwy, Wales, and Thomas Sullivan, of Childers Field, Felixstowe, had pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to abusing a position of trust.
The offence occurred between January 15 and March 5 last year.
McCourt, 38, and Sullivan, 25, worked at McColl’s in Trimley St Martin near Felixstowe.
Sentencing the pair at Ipswich Crown Court Judge David Goodin said Sullivan had admitted it was his idea to take the money due to his gambling habit and having started to do the pair were “in it together”.
However, the judge said, although the idea to take the money was Sullivan’s, McCourt had tried to push more blame on him than was justified by minimising her role.
It was accepted though that McCourt - who altered computer records to cover up the missing cash - would not have been part of the theft had it not been for Sullivan.
The pair had become close after the breakdown of McCourt’s marriage, although Sullivan maintained he was not in a sexual relationship with his co-worker.
Judge Goodin told Sullivan: “You have always said it was your idea. You have always said it came from your gambling compulsion and your debts.”
Previously Craig Marchant, representing McCourt said: “She has shown remorse for what has happened.”
The court heard there had been text messages between his client and Sullivan, and she had been vulnerable at the time.
Mr Marchant said: “She was pretty much at rock bottom.”
Roger Thomson, representing Sullivan, said his client had worked at McColl’s for three years after being a window cleaner for the previous four.
Mr Thomson added: “He probably did play on the emotions of Hannah McCourt. He knows and regrets what he has done.”
McCourt and Sullivan have paid the money they took back to McColl’s.
McCourt was sentenced to 20 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. She was also ordered to carry out 180 hour’s unpaid work.
Sullivan was given 18 weeks’ imprisonment, suspended for two years. He must carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work.
Both must also pay £80 to the victims’ fund.