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Woman spared jail over £8k theft from Linthorpe Post Office
A POST office worker stole more than £8,000 after bailiffs threatened her over an unpaid loan, a court was told.
Sub-postmistress Shamim Misbah's theft of the money was discovered when a routine audit took place at Linthorpe Post Office, in Middlesbrough, which discovered a hole in the accounts.
Misbah, 38, of The Avenue, Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, who was suspended from her job and later had her contract with the Post Office terminated, immediately admitted stealing the cash as she was struggling to pay back a loan she had taken out in 2002 on which payment was required.
Teesside Crown Court heard that the mother-of-three had been easily able to conceal the theft prior to the audit by careful accounting and balancing the books.
Kieron Rainey, for Misbah, who admitted theft and false accounting between February 1 and March 16 this year, said she had a short-term cash flow problem and had paid the money back just three days after the audit took place.
He said: “She felt under a great deal of pressure. She is very ashamed. She has worked hard all her life and was a woman of impeccable character.
“It has been a very serious lesson for her.”
The Recorder of Middlesbrough, Judge Simon Bourne-Arton said Misbah had made a catastrophic mistake and had committed a very serious breach of trust.
The judge said he took into account her lack of previous convictions, her immediate admission and the relatively short period of time over which the crime was committed.
He gave her a ten month jail sentence, suspended for two years, and said she would do 120 hours unpaid work in the community.
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