THIEVING hairdresser Hannah Horton was snared in a CCTV sting, stealing cash from her boss’s purse.
Trusted employee Horton was filmed stealing money from a handbag after her boss Siobhan Meadows set up the camera in the staff room.
Siobhan says she was advised by police to install a hidden camera after she noticed cash was going missing.
But she was heartbroken to have recorded her employee Horton, a hairdresser she had trained from leaving school, rifling through her purse and stealing her cash, and also stock – in all totalling £410.
Hartlepool magistrates were told Horton had no reason for stealing the cash and has since been sacked.
Horton, 23, from Quayside, at Hartlepool Marina, appeared before Hartlepool Magistrates’ Court, where she pleaded guilty to theft by employee between November 14 and 22 last year.
The court heard Horton was caught on CCTV taking money from her employer’s purse. She had also taken hair colours.
Chairman of the bench Martin Slimmings slapped Horton with a two-month community order and a curfew, which will see her fitted with an electronic tag for eight weeks, meaning she cannot leave her home from 7pm to 7am.
She was also ordered to pay £410 compensation to her former boss, as well as £85 court costs and a £60 victim surcharge.
Mr Slimmings told Horton: “This is a serious crime that you have committed. It’s a breach of trust, which is particularly nasty.”
Horton had worked at the salon for seven years and had become a trusted and valued member of the hairdresser’s team, even attending some of Siobhan’s family occasions.
Siobhan, 39, said afterwards: “It’s terrible when someone I’ve employed for seven years, from them leaving school, could breach your trust in the workplace.
“Hopefully this has not affected my customers and the rest of the staff.
“Thankfully it’s rare to come across employees like this.”
The mum-of-three from Bishop Cuthbert said: “Hannah was a fully-trained hairdresser, I put her through her training and paid her as an apprentice, giving her a contract after qualifying.
“The money she took from me was from my own personal money from my purse, it wasn’t takings.
“I noticed money going missing and contacted the police for advice and they said about getting a camera.
“So I had a hidden camera fitted in the staff room and she was caught on camera taking money from my purse, and stock.
“I was devastated when I saw the footage. Three times in one day I caught her on camera in my purse.
“I was very fond of Hannah, I can’t lie.”
Siobhan, who started hairdressing from the age of 16 before opening her own salon in 2002, said she sacked Hannah for gross misconduct after a disciplinary hearing.
Horton’s solicitor Tony Jackson said: “My client is full of remorse about this. She lost her job, her good name and her previous good character.
“She has offered, both at the police station and to the Probation Service, to pay back the money.
“She could offer no reason for why she did it. She is really sorry.”