A worker at a Peterborough warehouse fraudulently ordered thousands of pounds of stock for herself - and bought herself a new pet dog with the funds.
Louise Merritt took nearly £9,600 worth of goods in a space of just three months while working as a customer service advisor at Kiddicare in Peterborough.
Merritt (25) sold the items on internet auction site eBay for just £3,000.
The court heard Merritt had money troubles at the time, and had been told she would be made redundant as a result of Kiddicare being sold by Morrisons, and shortly afterwards by equity firm Endless.
But along with using the cash to pay bills, Peterborough magistrates heard she splashed out on a car and a chihuahua dog.
Merritt appeared at the court last Monday (19 January), where she pleaded guilty to one count of fraud by abuse of position, relating to a three-month spell between July and October last year.
She was made redundant on October 10 2014.
But District Judge Ken Shearton said the case was too serious to be heard at the magistrates’ court, and sent it to Peterborough Crown Court where a judge has greater sentencing powers.
Paul Brown, prosecuting, said: “She has been working at Kiddicare since 2011 as a customer service advisor in the call centre.
“Items were ordered, but not processed. She would send the items to different addresses, and use family members names, even though the family members did not know what was going on.
“She was found out when she ordered an out of stock item, and the order was checked.
“She said she made £2,000 to £3,000 from the sale, and had bought a Renault Clio for £200 and a chihauhua for £200.”
Nenad Spasojevic, defending, said: “She deserves credit for her guilty plea, and she is of good character. She is a single mother, and the offence was born out of the threat of redundancy. She had payday loans outstanding.
“She has always worked throughout her life.”
Mr Spasojevic sad some items, valued about £600 to £700 had been recovered.
Merritt was granted bail until the next hearing on a date to be confirmed.