THE head of finance at a Bradford firm has been ordered to pay just £1 in compensation after defrauding the company out of more than £40,000.

Jenna Wood fleeced Creative Digital Images on the Euroway Trading Estate over a seven-month period causing distress and inconvenience, Bradford Crown Court heard today.

She was spared an immediate custodial sentence by Recorder Anthony Hawks who told her: “No doubt you are utterly ashamed of yourself.”

Wood, 36, of Roils Head Road, Halifax, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position, between May 1 and December 31, 2019.

The court heard she had worked for the company since 2002 and been promoted to head of finance.

During the fraud, she paid invoices into her own bank account, making a gain of £38,501, prosecutor Lydia Pearce said.

Wood also used the firm’s credit card for her personal use to the tune of £1,235 and its B&Q card, adding up to a total loss of £40,347.

Miss Pearce said the couple that owned the company had been caused a great amount of stress.

The court heard that a Proceeds of Crime Act investigation had set Wood’s total benefit from the fraud at £42,665. The available amount she could pay back was £1.

In mitigation it was stated that Wood was of previous good character.

She immediately admitted what she had done to the police and went on to plead guilty to the offence.

Recorder Hawks told Wood: “It’s a sad state of affairs when someone in their late thirties who has no previous convictions ends up in the dock at the crown court.”

He said Wood was the firm’s finance director and by a variety of fraudulent means she “stole in effect” just over £40,000, between May and December, 2019.

Recorder Hawks said the offending had caused “considerable inconvenience and distress within the firm.”

But Wood had a number of significant difficulties in her life at the time, detailed in the probation report, that led her to behave in this manner.

Recorder Hawks said he must consider the impact on any immediate custodial sentence on Wood’s innocent family.

She was sentenced to 15 months’ imprisonment, suspended for 18 months, with 30 rehabilitation activity days.

A Proceeds of Crime Act confiscation order was made detailing Wood’s criminal benefit to be £42,665 and the available amount to be £1.

Recorder Hawks ordered the pound to be paid in compensation within three months.