While childminder Emily Canete was supposed to be looking after the children of Charlie and Bianca Austin, she was stealing from their family home. 

At a hearing at Swindon Crown Court in May, the 57-year-old of Warwick Road, London, pleaded guilty to three charges of theft by an employee.

One of these charges related to several items that were taken from the Austin's Hungerford home between May and July in 2022 while she was employed there. 

However, she denied one of the charges put to her relating to the theft of money from a bank account.

As a result, it was decided at a further mention hearing at Bristol Crown Court on June 27 that a trial would need to take place just for this specific charge, which was scheduled for March 26, 2025. 

Canete admitted to stealing numerous items from Bianca Austin, including items of clothing, a pair of training shoes, a pair of flip flops, cosmetics, a drawstring bag, a hot water bottle and a condiment set, of a value unknown. 

She also admitted to stealing from two other women, Katie Wade and Leah Cronin at properties in East Horsley and Marlborough. 

Among the items taken from these two women were a pair of slippers, a pair of black suede boots, an eye mask and a pair of sunglasses, a trinket box and a watch."

She denies taking £1,000 from a bank account belonging to Bianca Austin.

The prosecution took the view that the not guilty plea for the bank account theft was 'not acceptable' and decided to continue with count four. 

The Crown Prosecution Service believes that this charge could make a difference to the sentencing. 

Canete's Barrister, Mr Ashley, said that he was 'disappointed' by this decision, adding: "She's admitted to a number of thefts from employers, but this is more related to the way in which she got paid, which was a rather 'ad hoc' method, a slightly odd one I have to say.

"But obviously my hands are tied by the reviewing lawyer's current view. 

"Whether it makes a great deal of difference to the sentence I suspect it probably won't because its theft of employers, breach of trust etc, already which the other pleas relate to."

Keen to avoid a lengthy wait and a trial, His Honour Judge James Townsend told Canete's barrister that if she were to change her mind within 14 days, she would retain her 25 per cent credit for an early guilty plea.