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Saturday, 12 July 2014

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Great niece accused of thefts from Cumbrian holiday park

A man has accused his great niece of repeatedly stealing from the family-owned holiday park.

Ronald Stanwix was the first to give evidence at the start of Amanda Carter’s trial at Carlisle Crown Court.

Carter, 25, of Golf Terrace, Silloth, is accused of seven counts of theft from Stanwix Park in Silloth totalling more than £600 in October and November 2010. She denies the charges.

Mr Stanwix and his sons Graham and Steven became suspicious when hundreds of £1 and £2 coins went missing and, on police advice, they set up a secret camera in the holiday park’s cash room.

On several occasions, the camera hidden in an air freshener, captured footage of a woman switching off the light before entering the room and filling her pockets with cash. The jangling of coins can be clearly heard.

Some of the footage shown to the court showed Carter entering the cash room but none of video pictures clearly identified her as the thief.

Mr Stanwix set up the park with his brother Eric in 1965 and it has been run as a family business ever since.

He said only six people had keys and were authorised to enter the cash room and that Carter, a receptionist at the park at the time, was not one of them.

“As soon as we knew there was a problem, that room was locked down,” he told the court.

“There would have been no reason for staff to access the office.”

Mr Stanwix and his sons started regular counts of buckets of coins kept in the cash room in an effort to narrow down suspects.

“We decided to keep these buckets with a known amount of cash in them to catch a thief,” he said.

He said he could clearly identify Carter on the video footage because he had known her all her life and knew the way she stood and her mannerisms.

The prosecution case is due to continue this morning.



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