A SUPERMARKET worker went on a luxury spending spree to Harrods and Selfridges after defrauding £26,000 from his employer, a court has heard.

Aaron Hughes was jailed for a year when he was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Monday, December 4.

The 30-year-old, of Well Street, Winsford, had previously pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation.

Hughes was employed by a major supermarket chain at a store in Winsford, the court heard, and as part of his role he was in charge of dealing with refunds.

Northwich Guardian:

Towards the end of 2022, the store launched an internal investigation after they became aware of a suspicious number of refund transactions.

Following enquiries, they discovered that Hughes had paid himself £26,775 via false refunds over a three-month period.

Hughes was confronted at work and admitted his actions.

The defendant told his employers how he had photographed products from the shop floor using his mobile phone which he then processed refunds to himself.

The incident was reported to Cheshire Police and Hughes was subsequently arrested.

During questioning, Hughes admitted that he had stolen the money, but he attempted to claim that he was being blackmailed and forced to pay £500 a week.

However, following enquiries, officers were able to establish that Hughes had actually spent the money on high value spending trips to Harrods and Selfridges, along with luxury trips away.

Following his sentencing, PC Rebecca Sadler, of Northwich CID said: “Hughes has proven himself to be a prolific liar and his actions are down to nothing but greed.

"During his short three-month crime spree, he managed to steal almost £27,000 from his employers, to fund his luxury spending sprees and trips away.

"He thought he could go under the radar, and even following his arrest, Hughes continued to tell blatant lies to officers.

"Thankfully, he has now been held accountable and is facing the consequences of his actions.”