https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/news/no ... s-17526107
Victoria Rogers, of South Shields, abused her position in charge of a Post Office in Boldon Colliery to steal money from customers who paid their bills there.
A post office manager fleeced customers out of thousands of pounds to bankroll her £200-a-day cocaine habit.
Sneaky Victoria Rogers abused her position to line her own pockets, by reversing bill payments made by customers and diverting the cash to herself.
A court heard the mum-of-two pulled the trick 78 times and benefited to the tune of £10,000.
The Post Office reimbursed those who lost out, but Newcastle Crown Court heard Rogers' actions caused stress and strain when victims found out their payments had not been made.
Rogers, 34, of Lorrain Road, South Shields, admitted stealing the money between July and October 2017 and has now been given a suspended prison sentence and was ordered to do unpaid work.
The court heard she was the manager of Newtown Post Office, in Boldon Colliery, South Tyneside, which is inside a Heron food store, when she started stealing after her relationship ended.
Prosecutor Mark Giuliani said: "As the relationship fell apart, her dependency on cocaine significantly increased, to the extent she had a habit which she says was up to £200 per day.
"It was grossly in excess of her income and in order to fund her habit, she started stealing from customers at the post office.
"The method was relatively straightforward. Members of the public would use the post office to pay their bills and this would go through an electronic system. The system has a means of reversal should there be a genuine mistake.
"What she did, on 78 occasions, was reverse payments customers had made, pocketing the money for herself.
"That had the effect that customers depositing money into the post office on many occasions to pay utility bills found their bills were not paid and would have suffered as a consequence of late or non-payment."
When quizzed by police, Rogers made full and frank admissions.
She pleaded guilty to theft from employer and was sentenced to six months suspended for 18 months with 100 hours of unpaid work.
Judge Robert Spragg told her: "The Post Office has refunded the money to the losers but no doubt it would have been upsetting and stressful for them when they realised their bills had not been paid."
Vic Laffey, defending, said: "She was, at the point she committed this offence, in the grip of a drug addiction.
"She found herself in a situation where the problem she had escalated to a point where she couldn't afford to legitimately fund the drugs she was using and this was effectively a way to fund her habit.
"She had depression and suicidal thoughts and for a relatively short period of time she lost control of her life because of this drug addiction.
"She lost everything apart from her children. She lost her home, lost her job, ended up living with her mother then started putting things right."
Mr Laffey said that in the two years since the offence, Rogers, who has no previous convictions, has found a new home, enrolled at college and is now drug free.
He told the court: "She has waited patiently for this day to come about. She's in a state this morning and has been like that, off and on, for the last 24 months.
"She has made positive changes to her life.
"There is clear remorse and she presents no risk to the public."