Mum '˜driven by greed' avoids prison for theft from Portsmouth newsagent

A MOTHER who helped push a family to the brink of financial ruin has narrowly escaped jail.

Monday, 21st March 2016, 6:06 am
Donna Stanley

Donna Stanley, 35, was part of a gang which stole from the Sood family’s Falcon News in Lake Road, Landport, by loading up carrier bags with goods without paying for them.

She was caught on CCTV five times in February and March 2014 accepting more than £2,180 of items – including cigarettes – from friend Stacey Lajoie, a trusted member of staff who worked behind the counter.

The court heard Stanley was a former employee at Falcon News and knew the family well.

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She has no previous convictions but was found guilty at trial.

Kriston Berlevy, defending, said she had lost her job as a carer as a result of the case and is now working in a play centre for children.

Judge Claudia Ackner told Stanley’s defence that she believed claims the goods were given to her on credit were ‘spurious’.

As Stanley cried in the dock, Judge Ackner added: ‘This was a deeply unpleasant business which almost broke not only the business but the spirit of the Sood family. You were motivated by greed and wanted something for nothing.’

The court heard Kamal Sood had to sell another business and cash in his pension endowments to cover the cost of the thefts.

His plans for retirement are in ruins and he will have to continue working into old age.

Although the true figure of how much was stolen is not known, police believe it went on for at least two years.

Five other people have been sentenced in the case, including Lajoie who was jailed for two years.

The court heard Stanley was comfortably off with a healthy bank balance. She was given six months’ jail for each of the five thefts, to run concurrently, suspended for 18 months.

She must carry out 200 hours of unpaid work and pay £1,500 compensation.