Elmswell employee stole £2,755 from village store

A man with debts of more than £10,000 stole almost £3,000 from his employer, but used the money to buy cigarettes and sweets, a court has heard.

While working as a customer assistant in Elmswell’s East of England Co-operative Society, Oliver James Cox stole £2,755.

At Bury St Edmunds Magistrates’ Court on Friday, Cox, 28, of Thedwastre Close, Elmswell, pleaded guilty to theft by employee.

Emma Howson, prosecuting, said an investigation on October 7 found CCTV of Cox taking money from tills on a number of occasions and a letter he wrote expressing concern for ‘dishonest actions within the store’.

Cox admitted stealing the money over an eight week period, pocketing cash when the store was quiet and transferring it to his bag on breaks, she said.

In mitigation, David Shipman said Cox suffered from mild autism and was ‘possibly still suffering’ from the effects of domestic violence by his mother.

Unsure why the money was taken as it was not used to repay debts, Mr Shipman said: “He spent quite a lot, it seems, on cigarettes, sweets, non-alcoholic high caffeine drinks, that sort of thing.”

Cox will be sentenced on November 13.