A FORMER Bradford Council worker who stole almost £10,000 from her employer as “revenge” has been spared jail.

Andrea Breen, 48, stole £9,829 over a period of three years from Calderdale Council, using public money to pay for theatre trips, holidays, home furnishings and even the reception after her grandson’s christening.

Breen, of Ashfield Drive, Ovenden, Halifax, worked at Calderdale Council for 15 years, and was a licensing and registration manager when she was issued with a Council credit card, to be used to buy refreshments for Council meetings.

The spending, which started in 2014, came to light in November 2017, and after failing to provide adequate excuses for the spending Breen was suspended in February 2018, and resigned in May 2018.

She then took a job up in Bradford Council’s licensing department but has since left.

Breen used the card to pay for her daughter’s 18th birthday trip to London, including travel, accommodation and theatre tickets, as well as swimming lessons for her grandson, a party at the Moorlands in Halifax following her grandson’s christening, a holiday at Center Parcs, and items such as a fridge-freezer, bed, television, children’s toys and other items.

She was arrested in November 2018 and admitted the offending.

Breen - who was earning £39,000 - said she had asked for a pay rise to £51,000, the amount her predecessor was earning.

She said the spending “felt like compensation” for not getting a pay rise, and was motivated by revenge at Calderdale Council.

In mitigation, Jo Shepherd told Bradford Crown Court the offending started after disciplinary proceedings were opened against Breen, and it was a response to “work stress and unresolved issues from her childhood”.

She said Breen had had an “unblemished career” to this point, and is “thoroughly ashamed by her behaviour”.

Ms Shepherd added Breen suffers from depression and had been going through the menopause at the time.

In sentencing, Recorder Thomas Moran said: “You felt hard done by at work, but this does not provide any justification for the theft.

“You saw it as compensation which was a worrying statement, but since have been more remorseful.

“There were elements of revenge and this went on over a sustained period of time.”

Breen was given six months in jail, suspended for one year, and ordered to do 80 hours' unpaid work and 20 days of rehabilitation. She must also repay £10,144 from her Council pension under the Proceeds of Crime Act.