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Gambling addict who stole £2k from city jewellers is £20k in debt

PUBLISHED: 09:05 17 April 2019 | UPDATED: 15:31 17 April 2019

Michaela Shreeve made fraudulent refund transactions while working at a Beaverbrooks store in Norwich between September 2017 and January last year. Photo: Adrian Judd

Michaela Shreeve made fraudulent refund transactions while working at a Beaverbrooks store in Norwich between September 2017 and January last year. Photo: Adrian Judd

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A gambling addict who stole more than £2,000 from a Norwich jewellers is now £20,000 in debt, a court heard.

Michaela Shreeve made fraudulent refund transactions while working at a Beaverbrooks store in the city between September 2017 and January last year.

Norwich Magistrates' Court heard how the 29-year-old, from Northrepps, used her colleague's login details to steal money from the shop's tills.

But she was discovered after a store manager became suspicious and reviewed CCTV footage.

Prosecutor David Bryant told the court on Tuesday there were about 20 fraudulent transactions made by Shreeve.

Mr Bryant said: “There were a number of open cash drawer transactions carried out.

“Miss Shreeve was seen to remove money from the drawer and hide it between a notepad and a calculator.”

He said CCTV footage from inside the store revealed who was really using the tills at the time the refunds were being carried out.

Following an internal investigation, Shreeve admitted stealing from Beaverbrooks and was dismissed by the company.

Police were notified and she was later charged with theft by employee.

Natasha Baker, mitigating, said Shreeve made full admissions to her employer, police and the court.

She said: “I highlight the mental health difficulties she was suffering from at the time.

“She had been on medication for anxiety and depression.

“She had difficulties in relation to her finances and she has been honest about her addiction to gambling and how this spiralled out of control.”

Miss Baker said Shreeve was also believed to have been suffering with post-natal depression at the time of the offences.

“She fully accepts she should not have done what she did,” Miss Baker said. “She said she is £20,000 in debt at the moment.”

Shreeve, of Broadgate Close, pleaded guilty to theft by employee, having stolen £2,018 from Beaverbrooks between September 1, 2017 and January 4, 2018.

Magistrates sentenced her to a 12-month community order, during which she must undertake 180 hours of unpaid work.

Shreeve was also ordered to pay back the £2,018 to Beaverbrooks.

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