Jail for Bury St Edmunds Asda workers caught ‘skim-scanning’ items worth £2,000
- Credit: Gregg Brown
Four Suffolk Asda checkout operators who stole hundreds of items in a “skim-scanning” fiddle have each been jailed for 10 months.
The women, who all worked at the Western Way store in Bury St Edmunds, helped each other to avoid paying for items by “elevating” them over the scanning devices at checkouts.
Ipswich Crown Court heard that hundreds of items including children’s clothes, joints of meat and large boxes of washing powder weren’t paid for and in one case only £2.83 had been paid for items that should have cost £45.38.
Lindsay Cox, prosecuting, said the conspiracy came to light in September 2015 after some of the women were seen deliberately going to each other’s tills to pay for their shopping. One of them was also seen “elevating” flowers above the scanning device to avoid her co-defendant paying for them, said Mr Cox.
Sentencing the women, Judge Rupert Overbury said: “If the sentences today don’t include an element of deterrent for those others working in the retail industry, especially on supermarkets tills, they will be given the entirely inappropriate message that you can steal from your employers without the risk of custody. This was organised stealing from your employer who trusted you to carry out your till duties honestly. You didn’t.”
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He said he was sentencing them on the basis that the total involved in the conspiracy was £2,000 over a period of 66 days.
However, he said that figure “paled into insignificance” compared to far higher amounts that two of the women had confessed to during an internal investigation.
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Before the court were Rachel Hassall, 38, of Bradfield St George Road, Angelina Mosley, 38, of Sycamore Drive, and Sally-Anne Sadler, 61, of Bridgeman Walk, all of Bury St Edmunds, and Tracey Tate, 52, of Culford, who admitted conspiracy to steal.
Mr Cox said CCTV surveillance showed more than 500 items had been “skim-scanned.”
Darren Snow, for Tate, said she was “embarrassed, ashamed, humiliated and distressed” about what she had done.
He said Hassall was “ashamed and distraught and remorseful for her actions”. Charles Myatt, for Mosley, said his client was full of remorse. Joanne Eley, for Sadler said she was extremely remorseful and ashamed.