A PAWNBROKER manager stole almost £25,000 from the business to fund a college trip to America for her teenage daughter.
Sharon Gill, 44, created dummy transactions and cooked the books to steal from the branch of Ramsdens where she had worked as a trusted branch manager for seven years.
Teesside Crown Court heard that over the course of a year she stole a total of £24,849.
The trigger was because her 18-year-old daughter wanted to go on a trip to New York with her college and Gill did not want her to miss out.
But the fraud was finally discovered during an internal audit and Gill confessed all.
She was spared immediate jail when she was sentenced at court yesterday.
Jenny Haigh, prosecuting, said: “The method used to steal the money was basically by making up customer transactions that simply did not exist on non active customer account and she kept the money.
“When she was spoken to about it she said she started this fraud initially to finance her daughter’s trip to the States and from then she just carried on removing the cash to pay bills.
“She said she couldn’t say where the money had gone and was staggered when the amount of the theft was put to her.”
Gill admitted theft and false accounting at an earlier hearing.
Robert Mochrie, mitigating, said: “Being a dedicated mother she did not have that money to fund the course trip and she made the wrong decision.
“There is no evidence of a high flying lifestyle, no plasma TVs on the wall and no posh cars on the driveway.”
Gill, of Fielding Court, Billingham, was given 20 months prison suspended for two years with 12 months supervision.
A five-month curfew between 9pm-6am was also imposed.
Judge David Hatton said: “You were in a high degree of trust being employed as the branch manager.
“I have thought long and hard about whether you should serve that sentence immediately. I have come to the conclusion that in all the circumstances it can be suspended.”