A shop manager has narrowly avoided jail after she was convicted of embezzling more than £7,000 from an Aberdeen store.
Linda Cowe was caught on the Spar’s CCTV stuffing wads of cash meant for the safe into her jacket pocket.
And when an investigation was launched into where the missing cash had gone, she denied all knowledge.
The 57 year-old had been on trial at Aberdeen Sheriff Court accused of embezzling £7,100 and stealing £820 from the shop on Victoria Road in Torry.
She pleaded not guilty to the two charges, but Sheriff Annella Cowan ruled after a two day trial that there was “no doubt” she was responsible for taking the cash.
Yesterday Sheriff Cowan told her the only thing saving her from going to prison was the fact that she was a first offender.
And she warned Cowe that if she did not complete all 280 hours of unpaid work she would go to jail for six months.
The embezzlement took place between April 19, 2011 and May 18, 2012, and the theft occurred on May 18, 2012.
Throughout the course of the trial, CCTV footage taken by a camera in the back office of the shop was shown to the court.
It showed Cowe sorting money from one of the tills into two piles, then taking one pile in her right hand. As she approached the safe she appeared to put her right hand in her right jacket pocket.
Giving evidence, Cowe said she was reaching for the safe key to put the money inside.
But when asked by fiscal depute Jonathan Ward if she knew where £820 had gone, she answered: “I really don’t know. I have no explanation at all how it is missing.”
She later claimed she had been changing the money for coins.
Sheriff Annella Cowan also put Cowe, of 243 Victoria Road, Aberdeen, under supervision for a year.