A brother and sister who stole takings from the convenience store they ran have been given six months to repay the money.
Brian and Emma Daurge took more than £5,600 from McColl’s in Murray Street, Hartlepool, Teesside Crown Court heard.
Rachel Masters, prosecuting, said: “Brian was the manager.
“The only other employee with access to the safe was his sister, Emma.
“The company’s area manager visited the store and found books had been filled in to say takings had been banked, but the money had not been paid in.
“The total sum unaccounted for was £5,660.”
Brian Daurge, 36, of Dowson Road, Hartlepool, and Emma Daurge, 29, of Whitrout Road, Hartlepool, admitted theft.
The court heard it had been agreed with the company Brian Daurge is responsible for £2,000 of the losses, and his sister is responsible for the rest.
Rachel Landin, for Brian Daurge, said: “He took the money after getting into financial difficulties with a loan shark.
“He has been working, and has so far been able to repay £1,400 of what it is agreed he owes.
“It is his intention to repay the rest.
Christopher McKee, for Emma Daurge, said she has repaid £400.
She said: “She also wants to repay all she owes.
“She is a single mother on benefits.”
Judge Howard Crowson deferred passing sentence for six months.
The judge told the pair: “I think both of you genuinely want to repay what you stole.
“If in six months I can see you have made genuine efforts to repay the money, that will be enough to save you from immediate custody.”