Cleaner stole cheques from her customers

PUBLISHED: 11:32 19 January 2006 | UPDATED: 09:27 06 May 2010

A WOMAN who worked for a cleaning company stole cheques from three customers and made them out to herself for thousands of pounds, a court heard. But Hailey Becker, 23, was acting under orders from her abusive, drug-addicted boy-friend who had also introd

A WOMAN who worked for a cleaning company stole cheques from three customers and made them out to herself for thousands of pounds, a court heard.

But Hailey Becker, 23, was acting under orders from her abusive, drug-addicted boy-friend who had also introduced her to drugs.

Judge Richard Foster said the offences were a gross breach of trust.

He added: "But having heard and read everything put forward on your behalf I am satisfied I can deal with you by a community penalty. Regard yourself as very lucky."

Becker, from Meadow Walk, Henlow, had pleaded guilty to theft and attempted theft. On Friday, she was ordered to do 100 hours community punishment and be on a 12-month rehabilitation order.

Renata Jurenko, prosecuting at Luton Crown Court, said that on three days in November 2004 Becker was sent to homes to clean and stole four cheques from customers' cheque books. One victim was 86 years old.

One cheque was written out for £2,000 and paid straight into her own account, another was made out for £10,000, a third for £5,000 was paid into her boyfriend's account and the fourth she tried to cash at a cheque converting company for £1,500.

The banks contacted the victims to check the validity of the cheques and their loss was discovered.

Becker was arrested and made admissions and said she was in debt.

Stephen Griffiths, defending, said: "Her abusive boyfriend manipulated her, beat her up and put ideas into her mind.

"He was a drug addict who led her down the path of taking drugs. He would beat her where it would not show and burned her with cigarettes.

"Before she met him she had worked hard as a nanny and had never had anything to do with drugs at all."

The barrister said she left the area to get away from him and was now free of him and free of drugs.

"She was bound to have been caught for the thefts, they were not sophisticated. There is little risk that she will ever offend again.

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