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Troubled thief stole £18k from bosses

Katie Jones, from Macclesfield, stole thousands of pounds worth of vouchers from her employer

A woman who stole £18,000 from her bosses has avoided jail.

Katie Jones, 25, from Macclesfield, was working as a finance assistant when she siphoned off vast numbers of high street vouchers her company used as incentives.

She was caught when her boss at Umbrella Limited in Wilmslow was prevented from accessing a record of the vouchers.

Jones, of Brooklands Avenue, admitted theft by employee, claiming she stole because of a raft of personal problems.

She was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for two years.

Sentencing Judge Recorder Neville Biddle said: “For a number of years you were trusted employee of the company. But over a period you stole £18,000 of those vouchers. It has affected, undermined and damaged the company.

“People are entitled to one mistake in life. You must pull yourself together and get a grip.”

The court heard that Umbrella Ltd is a financial services company working with recruitment agencies.

Jo Maxwell, prosecuting, said: “High street vouchers were given to recruitment consultant as a reward for placing people in a job.

“The vouchers were kept in a locked drawer. Jones was a financial assistant and was in charge of ordering and distributing the vouchers.

“In June 2016 a spreadsheet where the vouchers are recorded had disappeared from the main drive.

“Jones told her boss she had moved it to her own desktop, but that meant no one else had access to it. It was then discovered that a large number was missing.

“When questioned about it Jones was sheepish and evasive in her responses. She was later signed off work sick.”

The court heard that bosses at Umbrella Ltd mounted an investigation and Jones was dismissed in the November.

Steven McHugh, defending Jones, said “She had stopped stealing the vouchers because she felt guilty. She has been extremely distressed and remorseful.

She tried to pay back some of the money. She wishes she could turn the clock back.

“There was a culmination of loss of her partner’s job, loss of their home and debt. It became too much. This was also linked to medical issues.”

Jones was also sentenced to 20 days Rehabilitation Activity Requirement.

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