Husband and wife who stole £230k from Dewhursts of Stratford butchers

The Quirks were sentenced on Friday Jan 13.

The Quirks were sentenced on Friday Jan 13. - Credit: Archant

A married couple have been spared jail after stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from Dewhursts of Stratford, in what police called a “particularly horrible” crime.

Stratford shopping centre

Stratford shopping centre - Credit: Archant

Kevin Quirk managed the butcher’s shop, whilst his wife Brenda was the sales supervisor, and between them they stole a vast quantity of cash from their boss over nine years.

Rob Cook bought the shop in 2006, and realised in 2015 that for the entire time, a second till had been used for all cash sales after 4.45pm every Monday to Thursday.

Suspicious, he spoke to the police and hired private detectives to visit his shop wearing body cameras.

The investigators filmed unaccounted-for cash going through this second, unauthorised till - before Mr and Mrs Quirk pocketed it for themselves.

Police arrested the couple at the shop on 17 February 2015, and seized cash form their home in Walnut Way in Buckhurst Hill.

When the pair returned on bail that October, they answered “no comment” to all questions, and Mr Quirk provided a prepared statement in which he said the second till was for staff attendance bonuses, which he referred to as ‘beer money;’ but he would not say how much he personally received after having paid his staff.

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Meanwhile, the Met’s Financial Investigation Unit found that the 54-year-old was spending substantial amounts on his credit cards – but not taking any cash out of his bank accounts to pay off the debt.

The Quirks were charged with theft by employee on March 9 2016 and found guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court on December 7.

Seven other employees were found not guilty.

On Friday January 13 Mr Quirk was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment, suspended for 24 months, and ordered to carry out 300 hours of community service.

His 52-year-old wife received an eight-month sentence, also supended for 24 months, and 100 hours of community services.

Both have to pay a victim surcharge of £100.

Det Con Georgina Black said she was pleased that the Quirks have been brought to justice: “This crime is particularly horrible because the Quirks abused their position of trust and stole thousands of pounds for their own personal gain.

“They have shown no remorse for their crime and have failed to admit their guilt throughout.”

She thanked Mr Cook for his help with the investigation and added: “I hope this will send a clear warning to anyone else who thinks it is okay to steal from their employer.”