Woman ‘lost everything’ after Arbroath till fraud

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The store in Westway.

An Angus woman suffered “catastrophic” consequences for defrauding her employer with a till scheme, a court has heard.

Donna Archer from Arbroath was sacked by B&Q after the retailer caught her scanning goods in a suspicious manner at its Westway store in town.

The 38-year-old appeared at Forfar Sheriff Court and admitted forming a fraudulent scheme to miss scanning items at the checkout, or “void” them after they had been beeped through.

The court heard the mother of three had “lost everything” since internal auditors began checking CCTV footage from September and October 2015.

Depute fiscal Stewart Duncan said: “The accused was an employee at B&Q.

“A transaction was investigated by an internal fraud investigator and CCTV was examined. This showed the accused was not scanning items for receipt.

“We have six instances which were captured on CCTV. She couldn’t offer an explanation as to why she did what she did.”

Co-accused, Nicholas Martin, had his not guilty plea accepted by the Crown. Solicitor Craig Scott said the offence was “bizarre” as Archer and the purchaser knew each other from school but “weren’t friends”.

He said: “Her former co-accused had asked to use her discount care and she said no.

“He then approached her again and for a reason she can’t explain, she did what was asked. She did not gain in any way from this.

“She lost her job as a result of this, she then lost another job, has lost her marriage, and also lost her house. This has been catastrophic for her.

“There has been a significant punitive element already.”

Archer admitted the scheme obtained £523.40 worth of goods for £276.84.

Mr Scott said his client had been pursued by a debt collection agency for the firm and had paid back more than £2,000.

Sheriff Gregor Murray told Archer: “I accept you’ve already lost a lot as a consequence of the criminal act.

“As you have had a financial settlement with B&Q, I will sentence you to a number of hours of unpaid work.”

Sheriff Murray imposed a community payback order with 80 hours of work to be completed over one year.

Archer, of Brechin Road, admitted forming a fraudulent scheme to obtain goods by not scanning them through a till or rendering them void in a transaction, paying a lower price for the goods between September 21 and October 8 2015 at Westway Retail Park, as an employee.

B&Q said: “While we won’t discuss the details of this case, we can confirm that it was handled in line with standard investigation and civil recovery processes.”