AN IT worker has to do 210 hours' unpaid work for the community after she failed to convince a jury she was entitled to £7,000 of her now ex-employer's money.

Three juries at York Crown Court heard that Lexina Saffron McCallum, 34, worked on the website of a York letting agency and was paid on an hourly rate.

Robert Wyn Jones, prosecuting, said by accident the owner of the agency sent £7,008.51 via online banking to her bank account instead of to the firm that had just renovated one of his properties' bathroom.

When he asked for the money back, she refused, claiming it was owed to her for her work.

The juries all heard she had been paid separately for her work in accordance with hoursheets she submitted each month.

McCallum, of Hova Villas, Hove, denied a charge of wrongfully keeping a credit and elected trial by jury after York magistrates said they were prepared to hear the case.

After hearing from both people, the third jury convicted her unanimously, and then heard she had previous convictions for deception and theft.

Judge Sean Morris said enough money had been spent on the case and it wasn't worth the expense of locking her up.

He ordered her to do 210 hours' unpaid work.

He also said the landlord could sue her through the civil courts for her money back.

The first trial a year ago was abandoned partway through to allow lawyers to examine piles of emails between the agency owner and McCallum.

She had originally worked in the agency's York office before being allowed to work remotely on a freelance basis after moving to Hove.

The jury in the second trial in March was discharged because its members were unable to reach a verdict.

Both it and the third jury heard McCallum's claims that she was owed the money for work she did on the agency's website.