THE BOSS of a Truro nightclub set a trap for his staff after he became suspicious that someone was stealing money, a court has heard.
Judy Roberts, 34, of St Johns Road, Newquay, went on trial at Truro Crown Court on Thursday accused of stealing £900.62 while she was working as an assistant manager at Vanilla in the city centre.
Graeme Scrimgeour, director of Penswood Inns Ltd – the company that runs Vanilla – told the court that he became suspicious someone was stealing money after a number of discrepancies on documents used to record the Duke Street venue’s daily takings.
On March 22 last year, Mr Scrimgeour placed £160 extra in a till and also set up a secret CCTV camera in the roof of the office to record that evening’s cashing up.
The footage, played in court, shows Roberts separating the £160 from the rest of the night’s takings and putting it in her bag.
Ramsay Quaife, for the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “Judy Roberts is a thief and she stole from her employers and such was their trust in her, they refused to believe what was happening … it was only when her employers put a camera in the roof secretly and filmed her cashing up that they believed what was happening.”
Mr Quaife said Mr Scrimgeour was alerted to the fact something was wrong after his wife Victoria, who works as Vanilla’s accounts manager, found incorrect figures had been entered into daily cash sheets.
He said there was often discrepancies between how much cash had been taken in a day and how much was in the till and that the difference could be plus or minus £25 or more on a busy night.
But Mrs Scrimgeour found that sums of up to £266 were unaccounted for.
On March 23, Roberts was called into work and fired.
Mr Quaife said: “She was to say to police there was that discrepancy. [She said] I did take it home with me; I did not want to leave it at the Vanilla bar. I intended to return it the following day.”
Mr Quaife added that Roberts denied taking any other money.
Roberts, who denies the charges, is accused of five counts of theft by an employee between December 18, 2010 and March, 22, last year.
The trial continues.