A SHAMED trader who called for an alcohol-free zone in Poole town centre plundered £6,000 from her employer to fund her drink habit.

‘Crime crusader’ Linda Mundle first hit the headlines in 2009 after campaigning for an alcohol ban to end the misery being caused by drunks and drug addicts.

Fed-up by a lack of action, she launched a petition and collected 75 signatures in just over an hour, telling the Daily Echo: “It’s horrible antisocial behaviour.

“They’re squaring up to each other on the street – they’re drunk all day.”

In January 2010 Mundle told a packed public meeting at Poole Old Town Community Centre how residents were being intimidated by demands for money from all-day drinkers whose shouting and swearing was “the first impression day-trippers get of Poole.”

In a bizarre twist, 52-year-old Mundle from St Osmund’s Road, Poole, has now admitted stealing £6,000 for alcohol while managing Reel Time on Poole High Street.

Bournemouth Crown Court heard how she had been employed at the gaming arcade from January 2000 until September last year.

Mundle confessed to “borrowing” money to fund her drinking, later pleading guilty to theft during an eight-year period.

Defending, Robert Griffiths, said: “There was a culture of drinking; it was the alcohol which forced her to commit the offences.

“She was drinking heavily and borrowing money; alcohol isn’t cheap. She is not in a position to repay it.” He stressed that his client was a woman of previous good character.

Sentencing Mundle to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for a year, Judge John Harrow told her: “You were trusted and you broke that trust on a massive scale.”