£1000 Marie Curie Charity Thief Avoids Jail

A charity  worker who stole more than £1000 from the cancer shop she helped run has been spared jail. Hard-up Alexis Hughes, 40, pocketed the takings because she was struggling to clothe her kids.

Hughes, assistant manager at a Marie Curie shop in Edinburgh, had also been claiming benefits while she worked.

Yesterday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court, the mum admitted embezzlement and benefit fraud.

Hughes earned £450 a month working in the shop in the city’s Lothian Road but she also claimed £3942 in income support over the course of almost a year.

Between May 24 and 26, 2006, Hughes kept £1168.50 of shop takings she was supposed to bank.

The theft came to light when Hughes, of Wester Hailes, left her keys with shop workers who realised money was missing.

Managers told Hughes they wouldn’t report her if she paid back the cash in £25 instalments but she missed payments and they were forced to call in police.

Her solicitor, Cameron Tait, saids he suffered from psychological problems and was having difficulty clothing her children when she stole the cash.

Sheriff Noel McPartlin sentenced her to 200 hours of