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'Steal or starve' for shop assistant who got herself into debt

Mon, 25 Jul 2016

A shop assistant who stole from her colleagues to avoid "starvation" has been handed a suspended prison sentence. 

20-year-old Jennifer Boyle swiped £110 from the handbags and coat pockets of her colleagues at Specsavers in November and December last year. 
She later pleaded guilty to five counts of theft - at Douglas Courthouse last week her advocate said Boyle had been left to "fend for herself" since the age of 17 and had been "badly let down by the system". 
He said her past had left her 'ill-equipped' to deal with her future saying her best friend was her cat and after taking out a payday loan to pay for treatment for it had got into "spiralling debt". 
"In order to survive she stole - it was either steal or starve," he told the court - saying Boyle knew she'd "messed up" and had written a letter of apology to her former colleagues. 
Sentencing her Deputy High Bailiff Jayne Hughes said it was clear she'd had a "difficult background" but it was never necessary to steal telling her it was a "selfish attempt to address your own problems". 
She handed her an eight week prison sentence suspended for two years and ordered her to pay compensation to the four victims as well as court costs of £125. 


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