A MANAGER at a business selling prams took advantage of the “shambolic” way it was being run to pocket money for herself.

Kersty Smith swindled the Discount Pram Centre in Cwmbran out of £1,200, prosecutor Roger Griffiths told Cardiff Crown Court.

The 50-year-old had initially been charged over an alleged £32,000 fraud at the company but the prosecution later offered no evidence against her.

She pleaded guilty to defrauding the business out of £1,200 by selling a pram to “somebody she knew” and keeping the money for herself.

Mr Griffiths said: “The business was very badly run. Cash was being left out open in shoe boxes.”

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Smith, of Clos Cwm Creunant, Pontprennau, Cardiff, had no previous convictions but had a caution for a similar offence.

She's very anxious prison will wreck her life

The court was told that related from 2015 when she worked on the tills at the Lidl supermarket on Cowbridge Road West in Cardiff.

Ieuan Bennett, representing Smith, said: “She would undercharge people she felt sorry for.”

Her barrister told how his client was a single parent who was looking after a son in his early 20s as well as her elderly father.

He added how the defendant was mourning the loss of her mother and had fallen into debt at the time of the offence in 2018.

Mr Bennett said: “She is very anxious a prison sentence will wreck her life.”

The court was told Smith has since found a new job which involves her travelling around the country as a supervisor for a cleaning company.

Judge Nicola Saffman told the defendant: “You were engaged in a fraud at the Pram Centre over £1,200.

“The circumstances simply put are that you took three cash payments for a pram and kept the money for yourself.

“In interview you denied any dishonesty and you said you were borrowing the money and you planned to pay it back.

“You’ve got no previous convictions but you’ve got a very similar caution back in 2015.

“You abused a position of trust within your employment.

“That abuse was greater because of the somewhat shambolic way the business was run from a financial point of view.

“Therefore the trust was greater because there was money left lying around.”

Smith was sentenced to 12-month community order.

She must complete a 10-day rehabilitation activity requirement and carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

The defendant has to pay the £1,200 back to her former employer in compensation as well as £900 prosecution costs and a £95 victim surcharge.