An office manager has been jailed for 14 months for betraying the trust of her boyfriend’s parents by stealing £8,000 from a family-run Bridlington firm.
Katie Lee, 33, was put in charge of the books for G&A Packaging Supplies Ltd only to steal money to feed her heroin addiction.
Her partner’s parents, who owned the business, could not understand why the internet catering supplies firm was losing money. They ploughed in cash in an effort to save it from going under. However, an investigation into its trading in 2013-2014 revealed a financial black hole had been created by the office manager.
Katie Lee of Marlborough Terrace, Bridlington, appeared at Hull Crown Court for sentence (Thursday November 5) after pleading guilty to one charge of fraud and three charges of false accounting.
Crown barrister Jeremy Lindsay said Ms Lee had admitted fraud as a person employed as officer manager for G&A Packaging Supplies Ltd by possessing money between March 24 2013 and 17 July 2014 which she should not have.
He said she had re-routed money from the office account into her own personal account.
He said she had also admitted false accounting by using a false invoice in the name of Venture Seafoods to make it look as if missing money had been legitimately paid.
Defence barrister Paul Genney urged the judge not to jail her. He said she had reached a turning point in her life and taken steps to ride herself of her addiction which at one point had cost £100 a day.
Sentencing Judge Jeremy Richardson, QC, ordered Lee to stand as he told her: “This case exemplifies a comprehensive betrayal of trust. You were responsible for the account for a catering supplies company that was run by your partners’ parents. It appears that company was in financial difficulty. The difficulties did not end so further investigations were made. It turned out your were responsible for stealing money from them. You stole £8,000 by diverting money from the company account to your own account.
“Your life has been blighted by heroin addiction, and it may not have been wise to put you in charge of accounts. You breached that trust comprehensively in the way I have described. Furthermore, you have a relevant previous conviction for abusing a position of trust. You have done this sort of thing before and must be punished.”
She was jailed for 14 months.