A Fife business owner has been left reeling after an employee he says stole £42,000 from him has been ordered to only pay only a seventh of the amount.
Disgraced cashier Elizabeth Kinnaird admitted helping 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 appeared at Kirkcaldy Sheriff Court where she admitted the brazen course of thefts.
As an alternative to imprisonment, she was told to carry out 30 hours of unpaid work.
However her employer, business owner Zaphar Iqbal said the CCTV he sent police shows her trousering £42,000 over a prolonged period of time.
Mr Iqbal said he has had to re-mortgage his home and his business would have gone under had he not caught Kinnaird when he did.
He also feels left in the dark, having not known that the case was being brought to court until after his former employee had been sentenced.
It was only when he and his family sat down to watch security footage that they realised the extent of Kinnaird’s thieving.
Mr Iqbal, 56, said: “I lost so much money. I trusted her so much.
“I thought I’d get a bit of justice.
“When I found out I was devastated.
“They found £250 in her bag on the day.
“That really devastated me.
“For 32 years I trusted her like a family member. She brought my children up.”
“I could have lost everything”
Court papers initially alleged that between April and December last year, Kinnaird plundered £10,728.
A plea of guilty to £6,000 was accepted earlier this month.
Mr Iqbal explained he re-mortgaged after his takings dropped so significantly.
Customers in his village – 70% of whom he knows by name – could have lost the store they depend on if Kinnaird had not been stopped.
“I don’t know how we survived – I think she would have pulled me down.
“I’m glad we’re in a better place now.
“Every day, I just can’t seem to get it out my head.
“I could have lost the shop, I could have lost everything I’ve worked for.”
Still chasing cash
Kinnaird was given three months to pay the £6,000 sum.
Mr Iqbal says he’s still waiting for that compensation to reach him.
He explained he is going to try to pursue the remainder of the money he believes he is due.
Mr Iqbal also expressed his disappointment at not being made aware Kinnaird’s case was calling.
As the case resolved at an early stage, he was never required to give evidence.
He added: “I’m going to see if I can take legal action.
“I’ve got the evidence of £42,000.
“I don’t know where they got £6,000 from – you can clearly see the £20 notes and £10 notes.
“It adds up to over £1,000 a week.
“I’ve tried to let it go.”
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service said they are not in a position to comment on the matter.