PICTURED: The pharmacy worker who stole £100k from bosses to pay for holidays and lavish treats

21 March 2017 10:05AM

A WOMAN who stole £100,000 from the Barrow pharmacy where she worked for more than 20 years has been jailed.

Lisa Cavanagh, 38, of Chester Street, Barrow, was sentenced to 18 months in prison today at Preston Crown Court, after pleading guilty to theft at an earlier hearing.

Entrusted with the administration for the family-owned Coward’s Pharmacy, in Hartington Street, Cavanagh was depositing funds from the business into her own account.

She was arrested on January 12 2015, when police searched her house to seize a large amount of paperwork, including bank statements.

Initial police analysis of the paperwork found that the defendant had been putting money from the business into her own account each month, as far back as 2011.

Officers then conducted further investigations back to 2009, when Cavanagh became responsible for the monetary side of the pharmacy.

They found that she had deposited more than £100,000 into her own bank account above her wages, across the space of around five years (2009-2014).

She was spending cash on flights and holidays costing around £2,000 each, nights in hotels, and other extravagant purchases.

Detective Constable Sarah McArthur said: “Cavanagh had worked at the pharmacy for about 23 years, and was treated like one of the family.

“She breached the trust of those she worked for and they have been saddened by her actions – they feel completely betrayed. They have also had to suffer the massive consequences that Cavanagh’s actions have had on their business.

“I am pleased that Cavanagh has now answered for her crimes and I hope that the owners of Coward’s Pharmacy can begin to move forward.”

A spokesperson for the Coward family said: "It's a painful day. Lisa was a trusted member of the team.

"We have had to deal with the emotional toll and the practical damage to the business and we are pleased to put it behind us.

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank the local community and the police for their great support during this difficult time.

"As the only family-run independent pharmacy left in Barrow, your support means so much and it has been a great source of tremendous encouragement to the team and the family."

Coward's Pharmacy declined to comment.

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