A grandmother who turned to crime after secretly spiralling into £40,000 debt using store cards today issued a stark warning to others: “Don’t make the same mistakes as me.”
Dianne Kirkby, 69, stole more than £2,000 from the Morrisons supermarket where she worked after her financial problems left her desperate and under pressure.
She began to sneak cash into her waistband over a period of several months while working on the checkout – with her monthly wages going to pay off a consolidated loan. Her husband of 48 years was unaware of her financial troubles until she was caught out by her bosses earlier this year.
Mrs Kirkby, of Peel Green Road, Eccles, Salford, had never previously been in trouble with the law and led a hard-working life as a hairdresser, a shop assistant, a home carer for the elderly and a dinnerlady but she was hauled before the courts and admitted the theft after the theft came to light.
She spoke to the Manchester Evening News after the case to warn others about the dangers of debt.
Mrs Kirkby said:
“I’ve handled money all my life, wherever I’ve worked and never taken any before. I think it was a combination of all the stress and tiredness. All the stress and the pressure has made me do something. The money was just there and I took it. If I can stop someone else from making the same mistake by speaking out, then I will. Let’s hope someone takes notice.”
Mrs Kirkby described how her problems began when she took out a series of catalogue and store cards, including at Debenhams and British Home Stores, around 10 years ago. About three years later she realised her home carer job was under threat so she began to reassess her finances.
“I woke up one day and realised how much debt I had got into. I nearly had a heart attack.”
In a bid to pay back the money, she got a job with Morrisons in Eccles in 2005 and signed up with a debt consolidation company. She said her total payment was around £40,000.
Each month, the finance firm took money out of her wages to pay back the loans she owed. Bosses noticed the takings for her till were rconsitently lower than they should have been and she was put under surveillance. When the evidence was presented Mrs Kirkby admitted that over a period of six months, between October 2011 and March 2012, she had stolen money on 23 occasions.
Mrs Kirkby admitted the theft of £2,143 from Morrisons before magistrates in Manchester. She was ordered to pay back the money to the supermarket and carry out 180 hours’ of unpaid work in the community. She has also lost her job and still has £32,000 debt. She said:
“I’m still paying off my debts. I’ll be paying them for the rest of my life.”
District Judge Jonathan Taaffe told her in court:
“I give you credit for your previous good character. You are obviously full of remorse and very sorry for the shame you’ve brought on yourself and your family.”
Source: Manchester Evening News