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Woman stole from Tidworth barracks, court hears
A TIDWORTH woman who had got into debt stole £2,000 from a shop and bar at the town's barracks in the hope she could repay it, a court heard.
Rachel Cotter, 32, admitted stealing £2,730 while she was retail and leisure manager for Sodexo, which runs the facilities.
Salisbury Crown Court heard earlier today that Cotter was the only person with keys to two safes, for the shop at Mooltan Barracks and The Hub at Lucknow Barracks. Cotter, who started working for the company in 2008, left her job in October 2012 and refused to give back her keys to the safes to her employer.
The court heard Sodexo had the locks changed and discovered money had been stolen from both safes, which Cotter initially denied. Richard Tutt, defending, said Cotter, who has debts of about £5,000, had planned to replace the money she had “borrowed” from the safes.
“She started to struggle financially and started getting into debt. This offence arose because she started to think she could borrow the money from the safe and repay it,” said Mr Tutt.
“She accepts that was dishonest and there wasn't any realistic prospect of repaying it because the debts continued to mount.”
He said his client, who has two children, has suffered from depression for a number of years and had a breakdown around the time she stole the money.
“Rachel Cotter's only hope today is that your honour doesn't impose an immediate custodial sentence,” said Mr Tutt.
Judge Nicholas Haggan sentenced Cotter to a 12-month community order with 240 hours unpaid work. “I am giving you an opportunity to make good,” he said.
Judge Haggan did not order any compensation to be paid as Cotter, of Cherrytree Avenue, Tidworth, would be unable to afford it.
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