Security guard stole £10,000 sniper rifle night-sight from North Wales factory

A security guard at a defence contractor’s factory stole a GBP10,000 sniper’s rifle night-sight. Holly Schofield, 40, of High Street, Connah’s Quay, was told by a Mold crown court judge that the recovered item was of a “sensitive” nature. It wouldn’t be in the interests of the public for it to have fallen into the hands of the wider criminal community, potentially terrorists, Judge Rhys Rowlands said.

Read more Secret funeral plans for the Queen leaked Schofield stole the Dragon Sniper 12 from a secure room at Qioptiq at St Asaph in November 2019. The firm provides night-vision kit for the British Armed Forces.

Judge Rowlands told her: “You were not simply an employee. Your job was to safeguard the interests of the company and prevent this type of theft,” “It involves a high degree of trust placed in you.”

She received an 18 months suspended jail term today (FRI) after she was convicted by a jury on “pretty compelling” evidence of theft. Prosecutor Philip Clemo said it was kept in a secure room but vanished during a weekend. Security at the site was outsourced to a contractor.

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For more information about how to subscribe click here. If you have a Facebook account, you can join our private North Wales Court Reports Facebook group to read the latest court cases.  The loss would have to be reported to the US authorities and MOD, if the equipment hadn’t been found.

The judge told Schofield she had been cautioned previously for theft and it was “perhaps a little surprising” she chose to work in the security industry. He said :”Temptation got the better of you.” Judge Rowlands said she would have sold the item and now accepted her guilt.

Defence barrister Matthew Dunford said Schofield was extremely sorry. She had some mental health issues over the years. A rehabilitation activity was ordered and a two-month overnight curfew.

Schofield has to pay GBP1,149 costs.

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