Thief cleaner's compensation bill cut as cheque was never cashed in

A CLEANER who stole around £5,000 from pupils' bedrooms has been told to pay less compensation.

Thursday, 18th August 2016, 12:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th August 2016, 1:40 pm
Cleaner Elizabeth Bruce caught on camera at St John's College in Portsmouth in a police sting.

Elizabeth Bruce, 52, previously admitted a string of 15 thefts at St John’s College in Southsea and confessed to another 19 thefts taken into consideration.

Now Bruce has been back in court today where a judge ordered her to pay £20 less compensation.

The court heard when she was originally sentenced prosecutors had included a boy’s £20 cheque stolen but not cashed.

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Elizabeth Bruce outside court

Recorder James Townsend cut the compensation bill to £822.

She was caught out in a police sting rifling through a planted purse in February.

Robert Reid, prosecuting, said: ‘During a period of time between July 2014 and March 2016 the school was experiencing a problem in relation to thefts of property with a result that the police in February set up a covert camera to try and establish who was responsible.

Cleaner Elizabeth Bruce caught on camera at St John's College in Portsmouth in a police sting.

‘They left a purse containing £60, covered by a covert camera, and they saw this defendant come across the purse and go into it wearing gloves and she was arrested on suspicion of theft.’

Bruce worked for 20 years at the school which was established in 1908, and was handed an eight-month prison sentence suspended for 15 months at Portsmouth Crown Court.

Elizabeth Bruce outside court
Cleaner Elizabeth Bruce caught on camera at St John's College in Portsmouth in a police sting.