A SEASONED swindler who conned her employers out of nearly £900,000 has had her sentence challenge rejected by top judges.
Tina Horton, aged 44, of Foxen Croft, Lundwood, Barnsley, was jailed for six years at Sheffield Crown Court in August last year after admitting fraud and obtaining money transfers by deception.
Horton ‘siphoned’ a total of £890,668.25 from steel company Tinsley Bridge over a seven-year period, while working as an assistant accountant.
She began working for the company in 2000, Mr Justice Beatson told London’s Appeal Court, shortly after release from a sentence imposed for offences of false accounting.
Horton left the convictions off her CV and was taken on as a trusted accounts clerk.
She ‘siphoned funds from the company on a regular basis’, said the judge, pretending the cash was payment for goods supplied to the company.
When finally rumbled by her bosses in December 2009, Horton tried to ‘brazen it out’ by submitting bogus invoices, but was finally prosecuted.
She took her case to the Appeal Court, claiming the six-year term was too long.
However, Mr Justice Beatson, sitting with Lord Justice Hughes and Mr Justice Cranston, concluded her sentence was ‘not manifestly excessive’.
They said the sentence was fair given the length of time over which her offences were committed, and ‘her previous convictions for almost identical criminal offending’.
There was ‘nothing wrong’ with her sentence, the judge concluded.
A crestfallen Horton listened to her case by live video link from jail.