A Fife shopkeeper who stole thousands from her employers of decades must repay the cash she stole.
Elizabeth Kinnaird helped herself to £6,000 from the Premier Store on Leven Road in Lundin Links.
After the owners became suspicious, they watched her on CCTV as she took money from the till and helped herself to scratch cards.
The 64-year-old first offender was given a compensation order at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court and instructed to complete unpaid work as an alternative to prison.
Fiscal depute Andrew Brown told the court Kinnaird had worked for the family who run the convenience store for 30 years.
Mr Brown said: “Prior to December 21 2022, the family suspected the accused had been stealing from the till area.”
The family began to watch back CCTV.
One clip showed Kinnaird removing £5 scratch cards and taking coins and £5 notes from the till.
Another clip, from before 7am, showed Kinnaird removing “most” scratch cards and placing them inside a bag.
On another day, Kinnaird removed cash from the till early in the day, as well as scratch cards from the dispensers.
She used the cash to provide a customer with change and later scanned the scratch cards at the till, paying for them with cash which should have already been in the register.
“Mr Brown said police were contacted and when Kinnaird was arrested she had more than £250 in cash on her person.
The Iqbal family who own the store began to spool through more security footage, as far back as April 2022.
During this period, Kinnaird had been working six days a week.
Court papers initially alleged that between April and December last year, she plundered £10,728.
However, her plea of guilty to stealing a reduced sum of £6,000 over eight months was accepted.
In the dock, first offender Kinnaird admitted forming a fraudulent scheme to obtain money by theft while in the course of her employment last December.
Lost job and friendship
Solicitor Martin McGuire said: “Clearly there’s a significant breach of trust and a significant loss to the premises.
“She suffered from depression for a number of years.
“She was struggling financially, she started to short-change the till.
“As a consequence of this, she’s lost her position of employment and also her friendship.
“She advised police she was sorry – she called it despicable to do this to friends.
“In order to try and make recompense, she explained the situation to a member of the extended family.
“There’s a sum available which can be paid within days.
“She has engaged fully. She’s been very candid.
“She is currently working.”
Kinnaird, of Westwood Avenue in Kirkcaldy, was ordered to complete 30 hours of unpaid work in six months.
She was given three months to repay in full the £6,000 she stole.
Sheriff Robert More told her: “It’s made as an alternative to a sentence of imprisonment.
“On the whole, it’s quite a significant set of circumstances, notwithstanding the fact that you’ve reached the age that you are now without ever having come into difficulty with the courts before.”