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Dental worker admits stealing payments

VICTIM: Linton Street Dental Surgery in Plungington, Preston

VICTIM: Linton Street Dental Surgery in Plungington, Preston

A “trusted” dental nurse and receptionist stole thousands of pounds from a city dental practice, a court heard.

Raesha Bapu, 27, of St Paul’s Road, Deepdale, Preston, who was dismissed from her position at Linton Street Dental Practice in Preston, after working there several years, admitted six counts of theft from an employer.

She also had several similar offences taken into consideration, with money stolen on a total of 32 occasions.

Prosecuting, Martine Connor said the thefts spanned a period between January 2013 and January 2014.

She said: “The owners of the company, Liz Lever and Farook Patel, noticed after advice from their bookkeeper that thousands of pounds was missing.

“They said the checking of paperwork was rare as they trusted their employees would do everything correctly.”

She said checks revealed a pattern in which cash payments were recorded as card payments so missing cash was not noticed.

They took place on a Tuesday, when Miss Bapu worked, and in January and February, when another receptionist was on leave.

The dentists decided to gather more evidence.

In January 2014, a customer paid £200 cash but it had been recorded as a card payment.

Bapu was confronted and a call was made to the customer on a loudspeaker in which she confirmed she had paid cash, and Bapu was suspended.

Preston Magistrates Court heard she had no financial problems and lived with her parents.

Deputy District Judge Edwards adjourned the case to April 11.

The practice said she had been employed as a dental nurse.

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