Lanark pub boss spared prison sentence

Clydesdale Inn
Clydesdale Inn

A shift manager who stole almost £2,000 in takings from Lanark’s Clydesdale Inn in desperation after running up drug debts has been spared a prison sentence.

Instead, Victoria Simpson was ordered to carry out unpaid work after Lanark Sheriff Court heard that she had repaid the stolen money.

Sheriff Robert Weir told her: “One of the pernicious consequences of illegal drug-taking is that people like yourself get into the situations that cause them to do the sort of things you have done, and it is only after the event that you can reflect on the folly of having done it.”

Simpson, 30, of Castledyke Road, Carstairs, admitted stealing £1,890 from the Clydesdale, in Bloomgate, on June 4, at an earlier court appearance, and sentence was deferred for background reports.

“She is very concerned and very anxious about today,” her solicitor, Margaret McNulty, said as Simpson, a first-time offender, returned to court last Wednesday.

The court heard that after the theft, bosses atthe company that owns the pub, Hawthorn Leisure, were counting its takings from the previous few days and noticed that cash was missing.

Footage from a CCTV camera in the office was then viewed, and Simpson was seen walking to the safe drop and standing over it with a money bag in her hand. She was then seen to put it inside her top.

She returned to her chair and then was seen going to her handbag on the other side of the room and putting something into it.

The police were brought in, and when interviewed, Simpson admitted taking the cash, saying that she had run up drug debts which she had cleared with the stolen money.

She was arrested, and later in June, another member of staff contacted the police to report that the money had been repaid in full.

“She is distressed at her actions and devastated, as are her family,” Miss McNulty said, adding that Simpson’s family had been very supportive in paying the stolen money back.

Simpson had worked all her life and had managed to secure a new job, so she would be able to pay back her family, the court heard.

She acknowledged that the starting point for a sentence for such an offence would normally be imprisonment, but Miss McNulty said that Simpson would be able to carry out unpaid work as an alternative.

Sheriff Weir agreed, ordering Simpson to carry out 140 hours of unpaid work.