Former Hartlepool police officer stole £100,000-plus from firm in finance role

A finance director who stole more than £100,000 from her employer and spent it on family holidays, clothes, shoes and taxis to her golf club has avoided an immediate jail term.

Friday, 19th November 2021, 5:10 pm

Teesside Crown Court was told that Lisa McGrath, 42, who is a former Cleveland Police officer, used the money from Technical Ex Services, in Queens Meadow Business Park, Hartlepool, as her personal bank for five years.

The owner of the electrical supplies company said in a Victim Impact statement that he was left shattered by her betrayal and the losses of £104, 860.

Prosecutor Jolyon Perks said the fraud was persistent, hidden and maintained in part by manipulation of the accounting records for the company.

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The Hartlepool case was dealt with at Teesside Crown Court, in Middlesbrough. Picture by FRANK REID

It came to light when the owner asked her for three years of company accounts to support a mortgage application.

Mr Perks said that she handed in accounts for just three months which were like a record of her own personal spending at stores including Next, Top Shop, and Weightwatchers and Jet2 Holidays

The office cleaner later found her stuffing black bags with shredded paper and in tears.

A police financial investigator found that she had carried out 81 frauds.

They including paying for a family holiday in Tenerife, weekends away and a new bathroom suite.

She had also regularly booked taxis to pubs and her golf club.

Mr Perks said that the company owner disclosed that the firm, which employs 20 people, was now trading better than ever thanks to the devotion of his staff and his partner and family.

Andrew Petterson, defending, said that she had arrived at court ready to go to jail, which would devastate her family because she was the sole carer.

He said that the £78,000 from the sale of her home had been paid in to a police account and that she faced further reckonings through a Proceeds of Crime confiscation case.

Judge Chris Smith told a sobbing McGrath that she had lost her good character in a spectacular fashio.

But he said her sentence would be suspended because of the likely effect on her two children losing their mother for a year

McGrath, of Anchorage Mews, Hartlepool, was given a two-year jail sentence, which was suspended for two years, 240 hours of unpaid work, 30 days of rehabilitation activities and a six-month tagged night curfew after she pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of trust between February 2012 and July 2018.

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