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Buyer steals £14,000 from Halifax department store

A fashion buyer at department store Harveys of Halifax in West Yorkshire has been found guilty of stealing almost £14,000 from the business over the course of a decade.

Kathleen Baldacchino was given a nine-month prison sentence, suspended for one year, at Bradford Crown Court on June 12 after it emerged she carried out more than 300 fake refunds between 2002 and 2012.

Harveys is a family-owned business located on Commercial Street, which sells womenswear and menswear from brands such as Gerry Weber, Phase Eight and Levi’s, as well as accessories, gifts, beauty and homewares.

Baldacchino joined in 1996 as a waitress in the café, before becoming a sales assistant. She was promoted to fashion buyer around five years ago.

However, she was suspended in January 2014 after Harveys noticed anomalies in its accounts and launched an internal investigation. She later resigned.

Baldacchino was due to stand trial on the theft charges later this month, but changed her plea to guilty at a hearing in May.

She will have to do 200 hours of unpaid community work and reappear in court on October 12 to establish whether she has any recoverable assets to pay back to the store.



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