A disgraced club stewardess pilfered more than £11,000 from her bar’s account in an unsophisticated bid to climb out of personal debt.
Nearly 300 times over two years Cheryl Glynn gave into temptation and took money from the club where she was in a position of trust, a court was told.
And the scale of the sustained string of thefts from Keadby Working Men’s Club, coupled with her insistence of pleading ‘not guilty’ just until she was due to stand trial, meant she escaped going to prison by a whisker when Judge David Tremberg told her she had been guilty of disgraceful behaviour.
He said: “As stewardess you were in a position of trust, and yet 271 times you stole money and falsified records in an attempt to cover your tracks. This activity leached out most of the profits of the club, which was operating on a shoestring.”
Glynn, 52, of Trent View, Keadby, received a 10-month prison term suspended for 18 months, 100 hours of unpaid work, and a 7pm to 7am curfew for 30 days. She admitted theft.
Andrew Bailey, prosecuting, said the thefts had come to light at the club’s annual general meeting in February 2011, when the committee was concerned that profits for the year amounted to only £700.
Treasurer John Howes had called in the accountants, whose examination of the club’s records revealed the scale of the losses. Mr Bailey said it seemed Glynn had been recording lower takings from the bar and gaming machines in one recording system, but putting the real figures in another. She had told committee members she did not understand the discrepancies, and the police had been called. She was sacked on March 21, 2011. When interviewed by police, she accepted that it was not possible to make so many mistakes.
In mitigation Richard Butters said the thefts had not been sophisticated, and that it had simply been a matter of time before she had been caught. He said: “She never anticipated this level of theft. It got thoroughly out of control. She was in dire straits; in an enormous amount of debt, and succumbed to temptation. She was taking money and paying it to others. She tried to put it back the next month, but was then short of money the month after. It simply spiralled out of control.”
He added she was still heavily in debt, and described herself as an emotional wreck, suffering anxiety, stress and depression. “This has hit her hard, and she has not taken it lightly,” he added. “She is fearful of a custodial sentence.” But judge Tremberg told Glynn: “It’s a sad fact that all over the country there are people in positions of trust who are in financial difficulty. If it were any mitigation that you could take money then that would be a green light for others to do the same. It is this court’s job to make it plain that people who have done what you have must go to prison.”
But he said the experience of long-term debt and the shadow of waiting for the case to come to court had been a great strain on her, and that he had taken account of her age and the unsophisticated nature of her offending.