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Finance boss stole £150,000 from company to buy drugs
The finance manager of a Brighouse heating and ventilation firm has been jailed for fleecing more than £150,000 from the company’s accounts to fund a Class A drug habit.
Ross Ollerenshaw, 32, who was responsible for employees’ salaries, abused his position and overpaid his own wages, stealing a total of £158,897.82, prosecutor Alisha Kaye told Bradford Crown Court yesterday. He committed the offences between November 2006 and July 2009, taking the money from accounts belonging to IES Energy Group Ltd, based in Mission Street, Brighouse, and subsidiary firm Oakwood Developments Yorkshire Ltd.
He admitted one charge of theft and four of fraud and asked for three other offences to be taken into account.
Two subsidiary firms and a contractor used by the company had to be wound up and jobs were lost as a result of Ollerenshaw’s dishonesty.
Company owner Jim Cunliffe, who was undergoing treatment for prostate cancer when the offences came to light, had to re-mortgage his house to help pay the company’s debts.
The prosecutor said: “The defendant’s behaviour has had a significant and devastating effect on Mr Cunliffe, his company and his family.”
Sentencing Ollerenshaw to two years and eight months in prison, Recorder Peter Babb said: “Perhaps this gives an indication of the sort of difficulties that can arise when people get themselves involved heavily with alcohol or Class A drugs.”
Mitigating for Ollerenshaw, who lives in Armitage Road, Huddersfield, his barrister Neil Murphy said: “The key factor was the abuse of Class A drugs and alcohol, and frittering this money away.”
Speaking after the sentencing, Mr Cunliffe said: “He got away light, the damage has been caused. I have got some closure now at least. We’re going to try and make sure the business goes forward.”