No jail for worker who took goods to buy a chihuahua

Peterborough Crown Court.
Peterborough Crown Court.
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A worker at a Peterborough warehouse who bought a pet dog after fraudulently ordering thousands of pounds of stock has escaped prison.

Louise Merritt (25) had ordered nearly £9,600 worth of goods after finding out she was likely to be made redundant from her role as a call centre customer care assistant at Kiddicare in Peterborough.

Merritt, who made her last fraudulent order on the day that she was leaving the firm last October, sold some of the items on auction site eBay.

Having made between £2,000 and £3,000, she then used some of the money to buy a pet chihuahua and a Renault Clio car on top of paying off bills.

Peterborough Crown Court heard that uncertainty over her redundancy had left her concerned about bringing home enough money.

Merritt, who was sentenced on Tuesday, received 10 months in prison which is suspended for 18 months. She was also ordered to undertake 120 hours of unpaid work.

Merritt, who pleaded guilty in January to fraud by abuse of position, relating to a three-month spell between July and October, was employed to help customers repair their items.

Her offences were discovered when a push chair she had ordered was out of stock and the order was checked.

Gill McGivern, defending, said: “I know custody threshold has been passed. She has come to court with a packed bag as she understands the seriousness of the offence.”

Handing out the suspended sentence, Judge Mark Ockleton said: “No doubt the company suffered a substantial financial loss, but the biggest loser is you. I cannot imagine who will trust you in the future.”