Sunderland cleaner who stole from clients grabs chance for freedom

A trusted cleaner who pocketed cash and blank cheques from clients has grasped the chance to keep her freedom.

Wednesday, 8th March 2017, 4:44 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:02 am
Newcastle Crown Court

Emma Campoli, a self employed cleaner in Sunderland, was given a suspended prison term in March last year for stealing £100 from a drawer in one of her client's homes.

Newcastle Crown Court heard, within weeks of being in court for the theft, the 40-year-old started helping herself to cheques belonging to another customer, making a £900 gain for herself.

Campoli, of Vicarage Road, Sunderland, was given a chance by a judge when she appeared in court for the thefts and frauds last September and was told she would not go to jail if she abided by strict conditions.

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Mr Recorder Ian Harris told her last year: "I will allow her the opportunity to see what she can make for herself.

"If I am wrong, she goes to prison, I can promise this, for 16 months. It is as simple as that."

Campoli was told she must work hard on the university course she was accepted on, keep up with her volunteer work and stay out of trouble

The mum has now been back in court, where the judge was told she had admitted another £100 theft from an elderly client , which happened at around the same time as the other offences last May.

The case had not been been before the courts when she received the deferred sentence last September.

Despite the conviction, the court heard Campoli has stayed out of trouble since the judge ordered her to.

Her barrister Jamie Adams told the court that despite being removed from a university course she had been accepted on, because of her background, she had remained determined.

Mr Adams said Campoli has now enrolled at college and hopes to qualify for a different university to study criminology.

On top of her studies, she is a dedicated charity worker.

Mr Adams said: "She seems to be making every possible effort she can to keep her life moving. Very importantly, she has not re-offended.

"She has deployed honest resourcefulness.

"People will always look at her suspiciously, whatever she says, she will always be doubted.

"She has got herself out of the quagmire of the life she had."

Campoli was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 150 hours unpaid work, rehabilitation requirements and a six month night time curfew.

The judge told her: "You don't know how close you were to going to prison today."

But he added: "In fairness, I have to recognise the steps you have taken in the last half year."

Speaking after the hearing, Campoli said she is very aware of the wrong she has done but is determined to move forward and help others along the way.

She said; "I will prove people wrong.

"I am determined to pass my college course, enroll at a different university and become a valued member of society.

"I will continue with my charity work and hope I am helping others see that there is another way."