A mum with cancer who stole £600,000 from her employer to fuel her luxury lifestyle has been put behind bars. Kathryn Jones, 50, from Darwen, Lancashire, had taken the colossal sum in small payments by transferring the money to her account gradually over the years.
As the administration assistant at Technical Plastics Limited, she had main access to employees’ wages and expenses – using this money to pay for holidays to Tenerife and to buy her family lavish gifts.
Jones, who was diagnosed with cancer at the time of her offences, admitted to frittering the money and admitted that her actions were ‘cowardly’ and that she couldn’t do anything to stop her habit.
But she had also involved a light-fingered colleague in her scheme, Beryl Shore, who stole £184,000 by asking Jones for a loan.
Jones continued to pay Shore, 61, over the course of her final years at the company before her retirement, and for two years afterwards she continued to pay her the money from the business bank account.
Despite not transferring any of the money herself, Shore admitted to having full knowledge of Jones transferring the money over to her, and described herself as being too ‘cowardly’ to do anything to stop it.
At Preston Crown Court on Monday, the two former colleagues pleaded guilty to theft by employer after a total of almost £1 million was taken from the company.
Jones, who was diagnosed with cancer at the time of the offences, was sentenced to 24 months incarceration, while Shore, who wept in the dock, was sentenced to 16 months’ custody suspended for a year.
The thefts dated back to January 2011, when Jones made the first transfer to her bank account.