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Bradford book-keeper, 26, stole £70,000 from employer
7:00am Wednesday 26th September 2012 in News
A trusted company book-keeper who stole £70,000 from her Bradford employer to spend on holidays and her wedding has been jailed for 18 months.
Laura Spinks, 26, was led sobbing to the cells after a judge told her: “People have lost their livelihoods because of you.”
Spinks, of Chartwell Drive, Buttershaw , Bradford, pleaded guilty to stealing from Starkeys Management Services Ltd, in Manor Row, between August, 2010, and January 31 this year.
Bradford Crown Court heard she began taking money only four months after starting work for the company, on a salary that rose to £20,000 a year.
Prosecutor Alisha Kaye said that, in January, the directors became suspicious about the accounts. Spinks blamed “a glitch in the system” and went off sick.
Detailed examination of the books revealed three payments into her bank accounts, totalling more than £70,000.
Miss Kaye said the effect on the business was “enormous”, with staff cuts made.
The police were called and Spinks was arrested. Her home was searched and bank deposit slips and other paperwork seized. She told the police she began stealing to pay off debts, but: “It just carried on. I got greedy, basically.”
She got a “thrill” from her dishonesty and spent the stolen money on holidays.Some was for her wedding, but the court heard her fiance had since left her.
Five days after her arrest, Spinks withdrew a further £4,000 from her bank account and “squirrelled it away”.
Her barrister, Sarah Barlow, said Spinks had low self esteem and enjoyed the lifestyle the money gave her.
“She felt she had to purchase her friends and, to some extent, her fiance,” Miss Barlow said.
She had no previous convictions.
Judge Jonathan Rose told Spinks: “In many respects, you are a very decent young woman, very kind, caring and supportive to friends and family.”
But he said she had earned a healthy income and there was “a large element of greed” in what she did.
After the case, Paul Lingard, director of Starkeys Management Services Limited, told the Telegraph & Argus: “Starkeys manage numerous properties on behalf of clients and we can confirm that not a single penny of clients’ money has gone missing.”