Yorkshire Clinic accounts assistant spared immediate jail for theft (From Bradford Telegraph and Argus)
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Woman stole £6,000 from Cottingley clinic
An accounts assistant at the Yorkshire Clinic has been spared an immediate jail term for dishonestly pocketing £6,000 paid by patients to settle bills.
Elizabeth Faulkner, 30, fiddled the books at the Cottingley clinic while stealing 14 times between June 24, 2011, and January 10 last year.
Prosecutor John Topham told the court yesterday Faulkner was a patient accounts assistant at the clinic from 2007 until she was dismissed last year.
In 2009, she was given a written warning after a few hundred pounds was not entered on her records.
Mr Topham said that Faulkner’s duties included putting money in a safe when it was paid in cash by patients to settle their bills. She was then meant to book the amount in on her computer.
She was caught when a patient queried the amount of her bill and the money could not be traced. An investigation revealed £6,018 was missing.
Faulkner denied any involvement in dishonesty during four police interviews but admitted her guilt at court.
Judge Colin Burn told Faulkner: “It is not entirely clear why you decided to do what you did against your employers. The amounts, I suspect in the end, probably took you by surprise but the reality is that pocketing cash and not accounting for it builds up after a while.”
Faulkner was sentenced to four months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months. She must do 60 hours of unpaid work and undertake a medium- level activity requirement with the probation service.