CROOKED wages clerk Teresa Glossop risked the jobs of 55 colleagues and could have sent her employer bust by stealing tens of thousands of pounds from her workplace.
Today the cheating 40-year-old is behind bars after using eight different methods to steal money from her firm - with no-one realising for nearly four years.
Glossop, of Skye Edge Avenue, Skye Edge, used her job at Microblade Ltd - a blade and knife manufacturer in Attercliffe - to steal almost £30,000 between January 2007 and last December.
Managing director Joseph Masters said: “Her crime was not simply embezzling precious funds from her employer - it was putting the 55 employees of Microblade and their families at risk of losing their place of employment.
“If her criminal activity had continued undiscovered, Microblade could have run the risk of going out of business.
“Mrs Glossop was always treated as a trusted employee of Microblade. The board was shocked when we learned of her misdeeds.
Glossop’s husband, who also worked for the firm at the time the money went missing, “knew nothing about” her crimes, Sheffield Crown Court heard.
Louise Gallagher, prosecuting, said once irregularities were noticed by bosses Glossop confessed and was sacked for gross misconduct.
Specialist accountants were brought in who calculated that, in total, £29,791.23 was missing.
Glossop pleaded guilty to fraud and “fully admitted the offence and complete responsibility for the full amount that had been taken”, said Ms Gallagher.
Sheila Whitehead, defending, said the “catalyst” for her stealing came when Glossop’s husband fell ill, leaving him unable to work.
Although the couple had mortgage protection insurance it was months before any money was paid out, and they accrued debts which began “escalating”.
“When she found herself in the unfortunate position, she used her position and abused it,” said Ms Whitehead.
“She did not tell her husband what she was doing - she had the financial management of her household.”
Glossop had not enjoyed a “luxurious lifestyle” with her ill-gotten gains but had “acted out of necessity to keep a roof over her head”, Ms Whitehead added. She said Glossop was “very remorseful”.
Judge Simon Lawler QC said despite Glossop’s previous “exemplary character” a message had to be sent out to others, and jailed her for eight months. She was led away from the dock in tears.
The judge said her fraud had been a “very serious abuse of a position of trust” and added she was not alone in facing money worries.
“There are many people in this country who face financial difficulties but they manage, rather than stealing,” he told Glossop.
“What message does it send to the public, and to honest people who do their best, if they were to see you walk away without being punished?
“It’s quite impossible to avoid a custodial sentence.”