'Trustworthy' newsagent worker stole £7,600 worth of scratch cards while working at family-run shop

A newsagent worker stole thousands of pounds worth of scratch cards then continued to deny it, a court heard.

Thursday, 16th September 2021, 11:45 am

Diane Haddock, 48, took the lottery cards over a three-month period from News Affair in Pontefract, Leeds Crown Court was told.

She denied a charge of theft but was found guilty after a trial at Leeds Magistrates' Court, before being sent to the Crown court for sentencing.

Martin Robertshaw, prosecuting, said that Haddock had worked at the family-run shop on Beastfair for seven years, and was previously regarded as "trustworthy" and "very, very reliable".

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Leeds Crown Court.

Between early June and August, 2019, scratch cards worth a total of £7,610 went missing from the shop.

The £10 cards were supplied by the National Lottery company, Camelot.

The offending came to light when the owner of the shop was unable to balance the books.

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She was arrested and continued to deny taking the scratch cards, even taking the case to a tribunal to get her job back, which failed.

The court was told that she won £3,951 from the cards.

Haddock, of Kings Way, Pontefract, has no previous convictions or cautions.

Defending Haddock, Benn Robinson said: "It's the first time she has ever troubled a court in her life.

"She has been described by people who previously employed her as 'exemplary'.

"Until this morning, she has not been able to accept what she did."

He said had suffered from depression and had health problems.

Mr Robinson said she was in a "terrible place" when she began stealing.

He added: "There will be no repeat of what happened. It appears to be an isolated incident and something truly out of character."

Judge Rodney Jameson QC Haddock her a 12-month community order and ordered her to pay costs of £340.

He said it was difficult to calculate the compensation Haddock should pay, and suggested civil action was possible to recoup the losses.