Greengrocer’s shock at betrayal by trusted employee and family friend

Greengrocer Tom Jackson of Applejacks, Berry Ln, Longridge, who was victim of his thieving employee. Photo Neil Cross
Greengrocer Tom Jackson of Applejacks, Berry Ln, Longridge, who was victim of his thieving employee. Photo Neil Cross
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A greengrocer has spoken of the moment he caught a family friend and employee stealing hundreds of pounds of produce and cash from his shop.

Tom Jackson, 54, who was still reeling from losing his five-year-old grandson to cancer and his daughter to a seizure, had trusted Georgina Margerison to look after Applejacks on Berry Lane, Longridge.

Georgina Margerison

Georgina Margerison

But he became suspicious after returning early to the shop one day and seeing the till was down, despite several customers having been in.

Shocking CCTV footage shows greedy Margerison, known as Gina, blatantly giving her mum Sarah Taylor bagfuls of shopping that hadn’t been paid for.

Father of four Mr Jackson, who has been trading there for nearly 20 years and runs it with his wife Gillian, said: “She had worked for me for three years and was a close family friend.

“She knew everything that had happened to us.

She had been to every family do, even been on holiday with us. My family were devastated

Shopkeeper

“She had been to every family do, even been on holiday with us. My family were devastated.

“I got back early one night. I paid her wages, and then should have been a £50 float. But there was only £29 in the till and I had taken £18 of that off customers.

“I checked the CCTV. It shows her put a tenner off a woman on the side, serve another person, then put in her pocket.

“My friend wired it up to the telly so we could see what had gone on the rest of the day. At 9.30am she’s taking bags to her car that are not paid for, and at 11.30am is giving bags of shopping to her mum.”

The CCTV also showed bags of shopping being given to two other women - but those matters were not proceeded with.

Mr Jackson added: “We had to put prices up because we didn’t suspect it was a theft at all - we were struggling and couldn’t work out why. It sounds daft but we all look after different bits of the shop so we did not realise what was going on.

“I am due to receive £600 compensation back - but they are only paying it at £5 a week.”

Margerison, 26, of King Street, Longridge, also admitted theft of cash and produce, and was given a three month curfew and ordered to pay £500 compensation.

Taylor, 41, of Mardale Road, Longridge, admitted theft and was given a rehabilitation requirement, ordered to pay £100 compensation, a £180 court charge, a £60 surcharge and £85 costs.

Both had appeared before Blackburn Magistrates’ Court.