April 7, 2009
Brent Knoll sub-postmistress pleads guilty to £29,000 theft
former sub-postmistress at Brent Knoll has escaped an immediate
prison sentence after pleading guilty to the theft of nearly £29,000.
Caroline Chennels, of Brent Street, was told she would have
faced at least two years in jail if she had denied the offence.
Taunton Crown Court heard she had taken about £2,000 a month
to cover her mortgage and to pay bills on the newsagents shop
and post office.
At the trial, David Evans, prosecuting, said after a discrepancy
was first discovered in September, she said she had taken money
only since her husband had left her and returned to Costa Rica
in July. However, she later admitted to taking cash from the Post
Office since September 2007. Mr Evans said: "She wasn't making
enough from the shop to cover the mortgage and bills."
Large, representing Caroline Chennels, said if she went to prison,
there would be no-one to look after her children and they would
be taken into care.
Sentencing her to 51 weeks prison, suspended for two years, with
two years' supervision, Judge Graham Hume Jones said she had taken
£28,800 while in a position of trust, which was regarded
seriously by the courts. He added that she was entitled to full
credit for pleading guilty at the first opportunity.