Charity fraudster pockets more than £1k 058


By Paul Thornton

A HEARTLESS charity worker stole hundreds of pounds from the cancer shop she helped run.

Hard-up Alexis Hughes, 40, pocketed over £1,000 of cash instead of taking it to the bank at the end of each day.

And it emerged Hughes, who was assistant manager at a Marie Curie shop in Edinburgh, had also been claiming benefits while she worked.

The mother conned tax-payers out of nearly £4,000 in benefits she was not entitled to before she was caught.

Yesterday at Edinburgh Sheriff Court Hughes admitted embezzlement and benefit fraud.

The court heard how Hughes took up a voluntary job for the well-known charity but later became assistant manager of the Lothian Road branch.

Despite getting a salary and knowing she had to tell the benefits agency, she kept claiming income support for almost a year, claiming £3,942.

But greedy Hughes – who says she had money problems – used her position to steal £1,168.50 from the charity to top-up her already ill-gotten gains.

After cashing up the shops takings, she was supposed to take them to a local bank.

But heartless Hughes simply kept the charity cash.

Things only came to light when Hughes left her keys with shop workers who realised the money was missing.

Even when managers told Hughes they wouldn’t report her if she paid back the cash, she missed payments and they were forced to call in police.

Hughes claimed she had paid back most of the money to the shop but admitted she had made no efforts to pay back the benefits system and was STILL claiming.

Her solicitor, Mr Collins, said she was suffering financial and emotional problems and Sheriff Noel McPartlin called for reports.

She will be sentenced later this month.