A former fashion buyer at Harveys of Halifax department store has been ordered to pay compensation of just £10 after she stole almost £14,000 over a decade.
The “nominal” payment was ordered by a judge today after an investigation into Kathleen Baldacchino’s finances revealed she had no available assets.
Back in June the 36-year-old was given a suspended prison sentence for stealing from the Harveys store in Rawson Street, Halifax, where she had started work in the cafe in 1996.
After her talent was spotted she was promoted to sales assistant and eventually became a fashion buyer within the store.
In 2013 an internal investigation into Baldacchino’s working practices revealed anomalies relating to cash refunds to customers and further inquiries revealed more than 300 bogus refunds between 2002 and 2012.
Baldacchino, of Quarry Bank Mill, Stoney Lane, Huddersfield, admitted stealing just over £13,800 and in June her barrister Rachel Faux said the her client was utterly ashamed of her dishonesty.
Judge Jonathan Durham Hall QC said the defendant had been highly trusted by the management at the prestigious store, but she saw how the system worked and abused it relentlessly.
He described the case as a tragedy all round and decided that Baldacchino’s nine-month prison term could be suspended for a year.
She was also ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work for the community.
Baldacchino was back before Judge Durham Hall at Bradford Crown Court today for a further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act when her benefit figure from criminal conduct was fixed at £13,829.95.
It was agreed between the parties however that she should only pay a “nominal” sum of £10 at this stage as there were no other available assets.
If the £10 is not paid Baldacchino could face seven days in prison.