Top Lincolnshire sportwoman stole cash after cancer diagnosis

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England clay pigeon shooting team manager Alison Dupree has escaped prison after she was captured stealing cash from her employer on a hidden CCTV camera.

Dupree, 50, from Hillside Crescent, Barnetby, was sacked from her job at Beverley Clay Target Centre, near Leconfield, after she was filmed a total of 19 times stealing amounts of cash which added up to more than £800, Beverley Magistrates heard.

But the cash had been stolen in “financial desperation” due to Dupree’s income falling when she cut her working hours after being diagnosed with cancer.

Defending, Tim Bishop said she had constantly been feeling tired through chemotherapy. He said: “Anyone who has witnessed chemotherapy knows the devastating impact it can have on the individual.

“This was not an offence out of a desire to seek revenge or to live a lavish lifestyle.”

Magistrates heard how boss of the centre Ian Patterson felt “devastated” when he watched the footage of the thefts by Dupree who had been “a very close friend.” Prosecuting Colette Dixon said it was a breach of trust in her “multi-functional” role at the centre, which included paying staff wages and handling customer cash.

She said Mr Patterson installed the camera because the business was not taking as much money as expected. She added: “The defendant is seen taking small amounts over a period of time from £100 down to £10 on each occasion.”

The court heard that Dupree had since recovered from the cancer, but was on medication.

She pleaded guilty to the offence of theft by employee, committed over six weeks last summer, and was sentenced to 16 weeks in prison, suspended for one year. She must also do 150 hours unpaid work, and pay back the £858 with £85 costs and £80 surcharge.

Following the hearing, Mr Patterson said Dupree had let down the 180 members of the centre, which is an Olympic training camp.

A spokesperson for the Clay Pigeon Shooting Association confirmed Dupree was still England team manager. She is manager in two disciplines of the sport.