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Hand in the till

A YOUNG woman who embezzled nearly £4,000 from the Lerwick branch of Specsavers opticians was told to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work when appearing before the town’s sheriff court on Thursday.

Danielle Aitken, of Hoofields, Lerwick, pleaded guilty to a charge that was described by procurator fiscal Duncan Mackenzie as “a case of the hand in the till”.

The 24 year old took the money from her employer between 1 March and 27 June.

The fiscal said that in fairness to Aitken, when spoken to by police officers she made a full admission – one which was “not really provoked by any questioning”.

Defence lawyer Tommy Allan said his client had not set out intending to steal, and had been “shocked and surprised” by the overall amount she was found to have taken.

He described Aitken as being “deeply, deeply ashamed” and full of remorse.

She is looking after a newly born child in “less than straightforward” circumstances and is not in a position to pay a financial penalty, Allan told the court.

Sheriff Donald Ferguson said Aitken was guilty of a “very serious” breach of her employer’s trust.

He ordered her to carry out 80 hours of unpaid work as part of an 18-month community payback order.