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Employee ordered to repay money following theft - Woodstock

Thursday 27 March 2014, 3:09pm

A woman has been ordered to repay more than £11,000 at a confiscation hearing.

Helen Seacole, aged 52, of Woodstock Road, Witney, was sentenced at Oxford Crown Court on 8 August 2013 of four offences of theft against her employers, Oxfordshire County Council.

A confiscation hearing was held at Oxford Crown Court on Thursday (20/3) in which she was ordered to pay £11, 702.

Seacole was employed at The Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock, as a coffee shop and trading supervisor from October 2008 until July 2012.

The prosecution resulted from an audit which uncovered substantial losses of takings over a 12 month period between 2011 and 2012.

When confronted with the losses, Seacole admitted she had taken money from the museum, and resigned from her position.

She pleaded guilty to the offences and was handed an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months.

Seacole was also ordered to pay £16,596 in compensation to the council, plus £475 costs.

Phillip Croxson, Financial Investigator for Thames Valley Police, said: “This case shows that anyone convicted of acquisitive crime will be pursued for their assets, to ensure that crime does not pay.

“It is an important part of this process that victims of crime are recompensed through the actions of the court. In this case, a Restraint Order was obtained, freezing assets, and this will remain in place until the outstanding balance has been paid.”

Although the compensation was paid, a full audit revealed this was not the full extent of the losses incurred by the museum.

Confiscation proceedings were then instigated, which resulted in a Confiscation Order being made for a further amount of £11,702.

When collected, the money will be returned to the council as compensation. Seacole was given six months to pay, or she faces a default sentence of 12 months’ imprisonment.

HW

Press Bureau
(01865) 846699

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