A RIPON couple have been spared jail after taking £10,000 from the Post Office they used to run in the city.
Amanda Mackrill, 37, was sub-postmistress at Bondgate Post Office in 2008 when her husband Nicholas, also 37, stole £10,000 from the Post Office to shore up the failing shop he ran on the same site.
Mrs Mackrill had pleaded guilty to false accounting while her husband admitted theft.
They were both given a six-month suspended jail sentence at York Crown Court on Thursday, August 11, and ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work.
The couple, now separated, took over the business in April 2006 and in November 2008 an unannounced audit by the Post Office showed cash to be missing from the safe.
The investigators originally spoke to Amanda Mackrill but in March 2010 they heard that Nicholas Mackrill had admitted to being involved, prosecutor Jeremy Lasker told the court.
Nicholas Mackrill admitted taking money from the post office counter each morning, but usually returned at it the end of the day.
On one occasion he took £4,000 to pay a tax debt, Mr Lasker added.
Defending Nicholas Mackrill, Tom Gent said: “This was a hopeless business venture. He had no experience of running such a business and it soon struggled.
“Under increasing pressure he saw the Post Office as a source of funds, but he was absolutely intent on returning what he took.”
Sentencing the pair Recorder of York Judge Ashurst said: “Both of you are people of good character who now have criminal records for dishonesty, and both of you are ashamed of your public downfall.”
“You must perform your unpaid work well.
“If you don’t you will be returned to the magistrates’ court.”
Both Nicholas and Amanda Mackrill were acquitted of earlier charges of the theft of £54,000 from the Post Office.