Cashier at Fortnum's pocketed £91,500

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The Independent Online

A debt-ridden cashier has been jailed for stealing more than £90,000 from the Fortnum & Mason store in London. Sheila Chivers, 55, pocketed up to £1,000 a time to buy clothes, jewellery and luxuries for her home.

Chivers, from Mitcham, south-west London, was exposed after a colleague discovered a hole in the accounts, Southwark Crown Court in London was told. Investigators found £91,500 had disappeared.

They looked at the mother-of-two's bank account, which revealed that she had been "living beyond her means" for some time.

The £21,000-a-year cashier denied the charges bu the jury found her guilty on 10 counts of theft between July 2005 and May 2006. Refusing bail, Judge Gregory Stone told her: "You were trusted with Fortnum & Mason's money but you stole a large amount of that cash on a large number of occasions."

Judge Stone warned Chivers that she faces a prison term. She is due to be sentenced on 14 March.

The court heard how the store worker's love of shopping had put her in the red. Her shopping list included a £590 diamond ring and a £1,300 bed.

Chivers had earlier told the court: "I like spending. I like going shopping. I am always overdrawn."