A SHOP assistant working on the tills stole from her employer after pocketing more than £6,500 from cash sales.

Chloe Jones, 26, plundered the money from the Nisa Local store in Tredegar over a seven-month period.

The defendant was left in serious debt after an ex-partner took out a number of mobile phone contracts in her name.

Cardiff Crown Court heard how Jones was also grieving following the sudden death of her mother.

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The shop’s manager became suspicious when she started noticing errors in the till records and began a financial investigation.

Steven Donoghue, prosecuting, said: “She found that the defendant had been voiding cash only sales and pocketing the money.

“When she was confronted, she made a clean breast of things and admitted everything.

“She was arrested on November 10, 2020 and made full admissions to the police.

“The defendant said an ex-partner had left her in a lot of debt and she was struggling to get out of it.

“She told them her mother had died suddenly and she felt terrible about what she had done.”

The court was told how the defendant had so far paid back £400 to the owner of the shop, a London-based businessman.

Jones, of Church Street, Rhymney, Caerphilly, pleaded guilty to stealing £6,542.85 between February 2020 and September 2020.

She had no previous convictions.

Thomas Stanway, representing Jones, said: “The defendant has shown genuine remorse and accepted her guilt immediately.

“The offence was totally out of character. She had been left in debt by a former partner who had taken out mobile phone contracts in her name.

“She had to take out high interest loans. Her mother had passed away suddenly.”

Mr Stanway added: “She is now working as a courier delivering parcels and earns £450 a week.

“She works 13 hours, five days a week.”

The judge, Recorder Lucy Crowther, told Jones: “You were voiding cash sales and putting the money in your pocket.”

The defendant was ordered to pay £6,000 in compensation to her victim.

She was sentenced to a 12-month community order and must complete a six-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

Jones must also pay a £95 victim surcharge.