Woman spared prison after fleecing Bingley firm Damart of £40,000 (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Woman spared prison after fleecing Bingley firm Damart of £40,000
The former payroll manager at Bingley thermal-wear company Damart has been spared an immediate jail sentence for fleecing her employer out of more than £40,000 to pay off debts including mortgage arrears.
Janine Askins, 45, wept in the dock as she was sentenced at Bradford Crown Court yesterday for fraud and money laundering offences.
The court heard she dishonestly moved £40,385 into her three bank accounts over a 16-month period after starting work for the company at Bowling Green Mills, Lime Street, Bingley, in August, 2009.
She pleaded guilty last month to one offence of fraud and six of money laundering, between June, 2010, and last October.
Judge Neil Clark sentenced her to 12 months’ imprisonment, suspended for two years, with 250 hours of unpaid work. She will be supervised by the probation service and taught debt management.
Judge Clark told Askins, of Park Grove, Knaresborough, North Yorkshire: “You are a woman of good character who will no doubt not trouble the courts again.”
He was able to avoid locking her up because of the “wholly exceptional circumstances” of herself and her family.
Prosecutor Sam Andrews said Askins fiddled the books because of debts, including mortgage arrears.
There was no evidence that the fraud funded a luxurious lifestyle.
Askins, the mother of two teenage sons, offered to resign when her dishonesty was uncovered a year ago.
She told her employer she had spent all the money.
In mitigation, her solicitor advocate, Nigel Jamieson, said she was suffering from depression at the time.
Her husband had been made redundant and had suffered mental health problems.
Askins wanted to treat her family to a better standard of living after all they had been through. Her marriage was now over and the marital home being sold.
She was anxious to pay back all the money she had taken.
Mr Jamieson said it was an unsophisticated fraud and easily detectable.
Askins made no attempt to cover her tracks and expected to be found out sooner.
After the case, a company spokesman said: “Janine Askins worked as a payroll manager at Damart. After admitting the offences, Mrs Askins was dismissed and subsequently prosecuted in line with company policy.”