MARCH: Superdrug store manager helped himself to £1,500 from company safe and then quit, court told

PUBLISHED: 15:07 07 January 2009 | UPDATED: 08:48 02 June 2010

A SHOP manager who helped himself to almost £1,500 from the company safe dumped the store keys and walked out on the day his dishonesty was discovered by members of staff. Wayne Palmer – who worked for Superdrug in Broad Street at March -- had spent all t

A SHOP manager who helped himself to almost £1,500 from the company safe dumped the store keys and walked out on the day his dishonesty was discovered by members of staff.

Wayne Palmer - who worked for Superdrug in Broad Street at March -- had spent all the stolen cash on paying his bills, magistrates were told.

The theft came to light when Palmer's assistant Pauline Sedgefield noticed money was missing from the takings during a routine check on the safe. She called in the bosses, and Palmer walked out.

Appearing before Fenland magistrates on Wednesday, 24-year-old Palmer was sentenced to 240 hours of unpaid work after admitting he stole £1,413.95. He must also pay back the cash, and pay £75 costs.

"You are a young man, and probably didn't understand the gravity of what you were doing," said presiding magistrate Peter Waterfield.

The court heard how Palmer's assistant manager checked the shop safe on November 27, and discovered around £500 was missing. Because she was alone, she decided to postpone a full check until the following day.

On November 28 Mrs Sedgefield and a cleaner went through the safe's contents, and realised £1,413.95 was missing. She phoned Palmer to ask him to come to the shop, and then alerted the company's area manager and security manager.

"Both were on their way to Superdrug when Palmer turned up," said prosecutor Giles Beaumont. "He admitted he was responsible. He wanted to own up because he did not want Mrs Sedgefield to get into trouble, and said he took the money because his mother was behind with her mortgage."

Palmer told his staff: "I am going," he handed over the shop keys and walked out, said Mr Beaumont. He later admitted stealing money on a number of occasions during the previous six months.

"He said he used the money to pay bills and fuel costs, he had spent it all," added Mr Beaumont.

Solicitor George Sorrell told magistrates: "I can assure you he has learned a lesson from this, he wants you to know it will never happen again."

Palmer, of Kings Green, King's Lynn, is now working party time at a night club.


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