A YOUNG Pembroke Dock woman has admitted stealing almost £7,000 from supermarket giant Tesco through a scam involving National Lottery winning payouts.

Jenna Bowen, 21, of Pennar Court, pleaded guilty to nine separate charges of theft from the Pembroke Dock branch of Tesco when she appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

The court heard that between August and October 2013, amounts ranging from £415 to £994.70 were taken from the branch’s cash office.

A Tesco employee informed police that Bowen had been dismissed in connection with the thefts after an in-house disciplinary hearing.

Prosecutor Ellie Morgan explained that the office could only be accessed by store managers, and that at the time of the thefts Bowen was an acting manager.

Ms Morgan said Bowen was able to take the money by altering slips printed out from the store’s National Lottery machine. The slips showed how much money had been paid out on winning tickets each day. Bowen altered the figures to make it look as if the machine had paid out more than it actually had, then pocketed the difference.

In total, Bowen stole £6996.10.

Michael Kelleher, defending, told that court Bowen had ‘panicked’ after receiving letters from bailiffs threatening to come to her home.

The letters were said to refer to unpaid utility bills and a loan dating from a period when she had lived with a former partner. Bowen claimed she had been ‘left with the debt’ and that she had spent all the money she had stolen on paying it back.

In a statement to police, Bowen said she really didn’t know why she had carried out the thefts and that she had never done anything like it before.

Magistrates adjourned sentencing until January 28, and released Bowen on unconditional bail until then.