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Part-time post office worker committed fraud by selling currency cheaply to his mum

13 Apr 2018, 14:17 ... -1-8457398

A university student with a part-time job in a post office who abused his position of trust on Christmas Eve by selling Euros at a reduced rate to a customer - his mother - has been ordered to do unpaid work.

Aaron Wilson (21), of Kings Road, Whitehead, appeared at the main weekly sitting of Ballymena Magistrates Court for sentencing after previously pleading guilty to two counts of fraud by abuse of position.

The fraud involved him selling Euros at a reduced rate - once on December 24, 2016 and also on November 26 that year. His mum, Brenda Wilson (58), of the same address. was given a two-month jail term, suspended for a year, when she appeared at court last month and admitted the one theft charge she faced which involved stealing Euros worth 59.02 on December 24, 2016.

A prosecutor told this week’s court Aaron Wilson had sold Euros to his mum for less than he should have. Previously, a prosecutor said Aaron Wilson’s case involved a “breach of trust” and said the sub-postmaster at Whitehead Post Office made a statement to police relating to the theft of money during a shift on December 24.

Aaron Wilson’s defence lawyer told the latest court sitting his client had not initially “given thought to his actions” but had now shown remorse and had apologised to the sub-postmaster. The lawyer said Brenda Wilson had paid back the money she took.

References were handed in to the court for Aaron Wilson, including from a retired teacher. The lawyer said the defendant is a second year student at Queen’s University and that he had to repeat a year as he had missed classes “due to stress” as a result of the legal proceedings.

Last month the court heard Brenda Wilson had formerly worked in post offices for 40 years and she had described her offence as “a moment of madness”.

District Judge Peter King told this week’s court there were elements of the case which concerned him and said courts take “a very dim view” of such matters. The judge said employers place a significant degree of trust in employees who have access to cash. He said Aaron Wilson’s offending had been “clearly premeditated”.

However, the judge said the plea of guilty and the low amounts of money relating to the charges before the court meant that as a direct alternative to jail he was ordering Aaron Wilson to do 50 hours of community service and also placed him on probation for a year.

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