Supervisor stole cash from Buxton jewellers as financial problems “spiralled out of control”

High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.
High Peak Magistrates Court, Buxton.

A Buxton woman, who had been promoted to the role of supervisor at the town’s H.Samuel jewellers, stole £510 from the employer after her financial problems spiralled out of control, a court heard.

Karla Bramwell, 22, broke down and admitted taking cash on November 4, 6, 7 and 9, as well as money from the safe, when an internal investigator from the firm arrived at the store on November 26.

Prosecuting, Jennifer Fitzgerald told High Peak Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday: “The defendant was suspended from work and arrested and taken to the police station.”

Following a search of Bramwell’s Chapel Street home, a small quantity of cocaine, worth about £3, was found in her make-up bags, she explained.

Bramwell was interviewed and told police she and her boyfriend had moved into a property together and were to share bills. But he had been unable to pay after he suffered an injury and lost income, and the debts had been mounting up, and so she had taken the money.

She told officers she had intended to pay it back but her domestic money problems had spiralled out of her control. The money was repaid the day after her arrest.

The cocaine, she explained, was the remains of an amount purchased for her and her boyfriend some time previously.

Bramwell pleaded guilty to a charge of theft by an employee of £510 between November 4 and November 26 this year. She also admitted possession of the small amount of cocaine, a class A drug.

The court heard Bramwell, who was ashamed and remorseful about her actions, had committed the theft in desperation over unpaid bills and had been too embarrassed to ask for help from her family.

Annis Rowlands, defending, said: “This was a serious mistake with serious consequences.”

She said Bramwell had always worked, predominately in the retail sector, but had now lost her employment and would have to rebuild her previously good character.

“Miss Bramwell’s mother runs a business and she will accommodate Ms Bramwell with some work,” added Ms Rowlands.

The court was told that had Ms Bramwell asked for help from her family, it would have been available.

Bramwell was sentenced to a 12-month community order, with a rehabilitation activity requirement, and 100 hours of unpaid work.

She must also pay court costs and a surcharge totalling £325.