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King's Lynn shop worker stole thousands from safe

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The assistant manager of a Lynn shop stole £3,385 from the safe to pay for damage she had caused to a car.

Stacy Clifford, 35, took the cash over three separate occasions spanning a month, town magistrates heard on Thursday.

When she realised she was about to be rumbled she immediately gathered her belongings and left Sports Direct in the Vancouver Quarter.

Sports Direct in the Vancouver Quarter (57242076)
Sports Direct in the Vancouver Quarter (57242076)

Prosecutor Hannah Butler said a loss-protection officer visited the store on April 25 to discuss cash discrepancies.

Clifford spoke to him initially and then took him through to the store manager.

Miss Butler said: “When the manager later went to speak to Miss Clifford, he found the defendant had left the premises taking all her belongings. She had told colleagues she had permission to leave but she did not.”

Checks of CCTV showed Clifford, who had responsibility for cashing up, taking bags of cash from the safe and concealing them under her clothing before replacing the key.

The court heard the amounts were thought to be £970, £945 and £1,420. Paying in slips had been destroyed too.

Miss Butler added: “After she left, the manager was unable to contact her by phone or social media, believing he had been blocked by her.”

Clifford, of Springvale, Gayton, was arrested and admitted the thefts. She said she had put some money back into the safe on two occasions.

The money had been taken to pay someone back, Clifford told police. After the interview she added that all the money had gone to a former friend whose car she had damaged and he was putting pressure on her to pay for it.

Liz Symonds, mitigating, said her client had immediately admitted the offences upon arrest.

She added that the death of Clifford’s father last year and the pressure applied by the man had been “quite traumatic”.

“She couldn’t find a way of borrowing the money. She tried to repay little bits of it [to the store],” said the solicitor.

Clifford, who pleaded guilty to theft between March 13 and April 16, was given a 12-month community order with 40 hours’ unpaid work.

She was also ordered to pay £1,000 compensation to Sports Direct and £145 in costs and victim


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