One stop to prison

PUBLISHED: 11:48 25 April 2006 | UPDATED: 10:03 06 May 2010

THE manageress of a One Stop Shop in Stotfold has been sent to prison for nine months for stealing more than £7,000 in takings to fund her gambling. Debra Vause stole the money over two days last November. She should have banked the money, but instead poc

THE manageress of a One Stop Shop in Stotfold has been sent to prison for nine months for stealing more than £7,000 in takings to fund her gambling.

Debra Vause stole the money over two days last November.

She should have banked the money, but instead pocketed it and went on a gambling spree in which she blew the lot.

At Luton Crown Court on Friday, former soldier Vause, 36, pleaded guilty to two offences of theft.

Claudette Elliott, prosecuting, said Vause began working for the One Stop Shop company in 2000.

She rose to managerial level and found herself in charge of the Stotfold branch.

Miss Elliott said her duties included counting up the takings each day, entering the figure onto a computer and then taking the money to the local post office and paying it in.

However, on November 28 last year temptation got the better of her and after counting up £4,968, she stole the money.

The same thing happened the next day. This time her haul was £2,205.

But the next month the company discovered no money had been banked over the two days and an investigation was launched to find out why.

Vause was questioned twice in January before the company eventually called in the police who arrested her.

She confessed to officers and said she had taken the money to fund her gambling.

Her plan, she said, had been to use the money to win a large amount from which she would get the money back to her employers and still be in profit.

In fact, she lost the lot.

Yasmin Qureshi, defending, said Vause, of North Street, Luton, had now stopped gambling and was seeking help for her problem.

Recorder Anthony Clover told her: "You were in a position of trust and you completely breached the trust that was placed in you.

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