Accountant coerced by partner into embezzling £45K, court hears

A South Yorkshire accountant was pressured by her abusive partner into siphoning £45, 375 from the van rental firm where she worked but only received a third of the money, Sheffield Crown Court heard.

By Tim Cunningham
Monday, 27th July 2020, 8:06 am

Sarah Brown's deception was uncovered after she was dismissed from TG Commericals, in Thurcroft, Rotherham, said prosecutor Beverley Wright.

Other employees of the van rental firm were suspected of the fraud, which took place between May and June 2017.

In a statement, Brown's boss said: "The whole episode has made me feel terrible in that I feel I can't trust anyone anymore and I have installed CCTV in the Thurcroft office."

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Sheffield Crown Court

Isobel Thomas, mitigating, said Brown's personal gain was limited to a £13,500 Vauxhall Mokka.

She said Brown, of previous good character, was in a "difficult" and abusive relationship with a man who coerced her into committing the fraud.

"Mrs Brown doesn't seek to justify her actions,” she said.

“She takes full responsibilty."

Ms Thomas said Brown is the sole carer for her young son who suffers from severe seperation anxiety.

"If she was to go to custody I am told there is no one who can take care of him," she said, adding that Brown is now working as a window dresser and repaying her debts.

Brown 39, of Roxburgh Barns Farm Cottages, Kelso, Scotland, pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position in February, after initially denying the charge.

On Friday Judge Michael Slater described Brown as "vulnerable" and sentenced her to two years in prison, suspended for 24 months.

Read the latest cases from Sheffield Crown Court here.

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