Thief stole £7,500 to pay for IVF

Cheque Loan & Pawn Shop in Wakefield
Cheque Loan & Pawn Shop in Wakefield

A woman stole £7,500 from the pawnbrokers firm where she worked in order to pay for fertility treatment, a court heard.

Tammy Friend, 32, of Mirfield, abused her position of trust as a branch manager of Cheque Loan and Pawn Shop in Wakefield to steal the money over a period of five months.

Friend’s barrister told Leeds Crown Court she stole the money after she and her husband had a series of unsuccessful fertility treatments and could no longer afford it.

Alisha Kaye, prosecuting, said Friend had worked for the firm since March 2013 and was considered a good employee until her offending came to light in November last year.

Miss Kaye said the company deals in Western Union money transfers, foreign currency exchange and buying gold jewellery.

The firm’s owner Simon Fogg discovered that transferred money did not match a daily log sheet which had been filled out by Friend.

Mr Fogg then discovered discrepancies going back over the previous five months which totalled £7,500.

Police were contacted and Friend returned £500 before she was arrested after admitting stealing the money.

She later told officers she wanted the money for IVF treatment and spoke about suffering from depression.

Friend, of Jackroyd Lane, Mirfield, pleaded guilty to theft.

Robin Frieze, mitigating, said: “She and her husband had a series of unsuccessful fertility treatments and he made it clear that they could no longer afford it any more.

“It appears that therein lies the thinking that led to her taking this money in the hope that she could justify to him that they could afford another course of IVF.”

Mr Frieze said Friend had begun to repay the money and had pleaded guilty to the offence at the earliest opportunity. Friend was given an eight month prison sentence, suspended for 12 months, and made the subject of a 50-day activity requirement.

Cheque Loan and Pawn Shop area manager Sean Fogg said: “We are a family run business and I am disappointed with the sentence. We won’t get any of that money back.

“She used the money for personal gain and breached her position of trust.”