A woman left in charge of Lanark’s Clydesdale Inn on June 4 used the opportunity to steal £1,890 of the Bloomgate pub’s takings.
That theft, by first-time offender Victoria Simpson, 29, of Castledyke Road, Carstairs, was detected three days later and it was then discovered the pub’s closed-circuit TV camera system had caught her red-handed.
The woman’s solicitor, Margaret McNulty, told the court that it had been an act of desperation by Simpson to pay off a drug debt.
Simpson’s family and friends quickly rallied around to pay the money back to the pub a fortnight after the crime was detected.
The court heard that Simpson was the shift manager at the inn on the day in question.
Three days later, two managers of the company that owns the premises, hawthorn Leisure, were counting the takings from the previous few days and noticed some cash was missing.
Footage from the CCTV camera in the pub’s administration office, where he pub’s safe is kept, was then viewed, and Simpson was seen walking to the safe and standing over it with a money bag in her hand. She was then seen to put it inside her top before walking to a nearby desk and removing the bag and putting the bag in her handbag.
The police were called, and she was arrested at her home.
She admitted the theft under questioning at Lanark police station, saying the cash had already been spent.
The police were informed on June 23 that the money had been repaid to the pub in full.
The court was told by Miss McNulty that her client had taken the cash to settle a drug debt and her friends and family had quickly repaid the money to the pub.
She suggested, given this and her client’s previous good character, that Sheriff Nikola Stewart might wish to defer sentence on Simpson for good behaviour.
However, the sheriff was having none of it. “I’m not going to defer in a case of embezzlement,” she told Simpson’s solicitor, saying that she would be seeking background reports before passing sentence on November 24.
The sheriff went on: “Drug debts are a worrying factor in any case. She was previously of good character and she must be utterly honest with social workers drawing up the report.”