Manager stole from Primrose Hill business

A THIEVING manager of a Primrose Hill business nearly brought the company to its knees after raiding its accounts, a court has heard. Portuguese born Daniela Do Espirito Santo Dos Santos, 32, was given a suspended jail sentence after steal

Ben McPartland

A THIEVING manager of a Primrose Hill business nearly brought the company to its knees after raiding its accounts, a court has heard.

Portuguese born Daniela Do Espirito Santo Dos Santos, 32, was given a suspended jail sentence after stealing over �7,000 while she worked at Primrose Bakery, which has provided cupcakes for the likes of U2 and Kate Moss in the past.

Blackfriars Crown Court heard on Friday how the former manager made 28 bank transfers diverting money meant for suppliers into her own account. She also redirected the wages of a fellow employee into her own coffers.


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Judge Nicholas Riddell said Do Espirito Santo Dos Santos must have been aware of the impact her theft - carried out between June and November last year, would have on the state of the business.

He told her: "You stole 28 times from your employers, whom you knew well. You were the manager and this was a gross breach of trust. To make matters worse you knew full well the financial position the business was in. You knew of the financial difficulties they were going through and you knew the effect that your conduct could well have on the business, that is to say to bring the business down, with the result that 15 to 20 staff would lose their jobs.

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"They have had to work very hard to keep it afloat and it remains uncertain for them and for their employees, whose positions you helped to put in jeopardy.

"You thoroughly deserve to go to prison now but in all the circumstances I have decided I can properly suspend the sentence.''

As well as receiving a six-month prison sentence suspended for a year she must also carry out 150 hours of unpaid community work and has been ordered to repay the money at �300 a month.

She is believed to have taken on a new job in a shop but the judge ordered her to inform her new employers of the conviction.

Defence barrister Steven Pidcock said Dos Espirito Santo Dos Santos, who was paid a salary of �22,500, morally could not have taken a bundle of cash out of the till but because she used internet transfers she was able to "overcome her moral code".

The joint owners of Primrose Bakery Lisa Thomas and Martha Swift were in court to hear proceedings.

The court heard how the pair were sent text messages by their former employee after she had been caught, asking them to consider the welfare of her child.

Speaking outside court Ms Thomas told the Ham&High: "We have got children ourselves and we have no intention of letting them suffer because of her ridiculous behaviour. I do not have any sympathy for her at all.

"There was not even any money to take."

Ms Swift added: "It is not just the amount of money it is the trust issue. We cannot afford to employ another manager but the thought of trusting someone else - I don't think we would ever do it."

Ms Dos Santos had pleaded guilty to the theft at a hearing at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on January 25.

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