Shop Supervisor Jailed for Stealing Scratchcards

A store supervisor who stole National Lottery scratchcards from her employer to buy a new car has been jailed.

Gemma Francis began working at Costcutters store in Ripon Road, Winton in Dorset in December 2017 and began stealing lottery scratchcards almost immediately. The thefts went undetected for a year but at the end of last year she was caught on CCTV in December.

In total Francis stole National Lottery scratchcards worth a total of £21,480 and claimed £11,780 in winnings. Francis admitted theft and appeared at Bournemouth Crown Court last Friday for sentencing.

The prosecution stated that Francis had been captured on film pocketing packets of scratchcards, which cost between £1 and £10 each, and activating them herself, then claiming the winnings at different shops or going to the Post Office for more substantial wins.

The crime only came to light when the store was eventually audited. Francis was then approached by the store manager on New Year’s Day after CCTV footage had been checked. She admitted the theft and admitted she had been stealing the cards since joining the company. Francis couldn’t really give any reason for the thefts other than that she was saving for a new car. Evidence came to light to show that Francis liked going to bingo and also used slot machines a lot and may have a problem with gambling. It was also stated in court that this was a first offence, although the offence was prolonged, taking place over a period of more than a year.

Francis was sentenced to eight months in prison and savings amounting to £1,500 will be split between Camelot UK and Costcutters as compensation.

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