Office manager jailed for stealing from employers - St Albans


An office manager, who stole more than £37,000 from her St Albans employers, was jailed for 14 months today, Tuesday, 28 October 2014.

Mairead Turner,  aged 41,  had been given a £5,000 loan by her bosses at Exchange Communications to help with her financial problems after her husband fell ill. She repaid the loan, St Albans Crown Court heard, but Turner began altering invoices and paying money into her own account. On one occasion she had used company funds to pay £189 for Ryanair tickets for flights to her uncle's funeral in Ireland.

Turner, who now lives in Milton Haven, also diverted the company's council tax payments to herself, which led to bailiffs turning up at the firm's offices in Porters Wood. She had worked for the company from October 2008 until May 2011 and stole a total of £37,023. In December 2012 she was questioned by the police, but was not charged for another 16 months.

The court was told she had no convictions before these offences, but in February 2012 she stole £80 from the till of a shop where she was working in at Milford Haven.

Turner, of Howarth Close, Milton Haven, Pembrokeshire, appeared for sentence having pleaded guilty to theft.

Jessica Sobey, defending, said Turner was remorseful: "Her employers were good to her and she is disappointed and ashamed. She wishes to express her remorse and apologises for the abuse of trust. She wishes to repay the company."  She said that in 2009, Turner's husband had a heart attack and she was the sole provider. Her home in Pembrokeshire was repossessed and she was under a "significant amount of stress."

Jailing her, Judge Stephen Gullick told her: "The abuse of trust was significant because you had the ability to cover up what you were doing. Your employers have been badly let down. You took a significant amount of money. A prison sentence must follow."

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