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CROOK LET OFF HOOK; Crime spree ignored.

Byline: GORDON CURRIE

A DEPRESSED financial agent who stole a credit card to fund a "shopping frenzy" walked free from court after a sheriff said the offence was "out of character".

But the sheriff's kind words came just a day after crooked Kerry Magee admitted embezzling pounds 3,000 from her employer, a financial services agent in Perth, at the same court.

Magee, 33, of Perth, admitted stealing the card from her boss and seven charges of obtaining goods by fraud at Perth Sheriff Court.

Sheriff James Tierney was not told about the earlier case.

He simply heard that Magee had taken the Switch card and spent a whole day treating herself to pounds 245 of sporting goods, books, music and groceries.

In a letter, Magee said: "I had been suffering from depression.

"I was put on Seroxat, which I did not feel helped any.

"I started drinking quite a bit to try and escape but I felt this was no solution.

"Then I went on a shopping frenzy which made me feel good. I am deeply sorry for what I have done."

Solicitor Billy Somerville said Magee had little or no money and was now seeking help for her problems.

Sheriff Tierney said: "Although it is a serious offence, with an element of breach of trust, it is appropriate to defer sentence.

"This is an offence which is quite out of character."

He deferred sentence for four months so that Magee could attempt to repay the value of some of the goods she had obtained.

In the earlier case, Magee had sentence deferred for social background and community service reports.

She was ordered to appear again on August 6.
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 18, 2003
Words:280
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