Woman from Cheddington receives suspended sentence after using colleague's bank card to buy iPhone and laptop

Following a Thames Valley Police investigation, a woman has been given a suspended prison sentence, ordered to carry out unpaid work and told to pay £3,000 in compensation to her victim after she was convicted of theft.

By Sam Dean
Friday, 21st February 2020, 4:07 pm
Updated Friday, 21st February 2020, 4:47 pm

Harriet Eade, aged 28, of Church Hill, Cheddington, Buckinghamshire, pleaded guilty to one count of theft by employee in a hearing at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on Monday 3 February and was sentenced on Tuesday 18 February 2020.

In early 2018, Eade was employed as a PA for the owner of a local business in Ivinghoe, Buckinghamshire.

The victim, a 61-year-old, noticed suspicious transactions on his business and personal accounts later that same year, with the total amount stolen being more than £2,000.

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Among the transactions were a purchase of an iPhone worth nearly £1,000 and a laptop, valued at around £500, items which the victim had not ordered.

Eade was charged via postal requisition on 16 January this year and was dismissed from her job for gross misconduct.

She pleaded guilty to the offence at High Wycombe Magistrates’ Court on 3 February and was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, ordered to carry out 300 hours of unpaid work and to complete 17 rehabilitation days on Tuesday 18 February.

She was further ordered to pay £3,000 in compensation to the victim.

Investigating officer Detective Constable James Lacey of Force CID based at Aylesbury police station, said: “When interviewed by police, Eade made full admissions to buying items and using the victim’s bank cards without his permission.

“She also admitted selling the iPhone on social media, thus profiting from the theft. She abused a position of trust for her own ends, and this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable.

“Thames Valley Police will thoroughly investigation allegations of theft and fraud and seek to prosecute those responsible.

“In the current age of technology, where every transaction is recorded electronically, fraudsters need to know that the net is closing in.

“The impact of financial crime against small business has the potential to be very damaging so I am pleased that the victim has been awarded compensation.”