Office boss walks free after stealing Â£20k
Lynn Barrow wept and hugged a male companion after leaving court with a suspended sentence hanging over her for two years.
Barrow, 48, was told by a judge: “This theft was a breach of a high level of trust.”
But Judge Brian Cummings, QC, told her that her previous good character and her guilty plea meant he felt able to suspend a 10-month jail sentence.
Barrow, of Bury Lane, Withnell, Chorley, had pleaded guilty to stealing the cash belonging to Radius Security Ltd of Goose Green between December 1, 2014 and July 7 last year.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that her job involved her making cash payments which meant she had access to the firm’s safe.
She began stealing cash which came to light when she and the firm “were parting ways” and she was offered a settlement figure at the end of last June.
“You agreed so readily that it attracted the suspicion of the manager which led to him wanting a reconciliation to be carried out of the safe,” said Judge Cummings.
When confronted she became upset and admitted what she had done.
The judge said that he accepted “in general terms” that a man had taken advantage of her emotional vulnerability last year and he persuaded her to part with her own money.
The man, referred to only as Mr Blye, later found out she had access to the company safe and he “encouraged and persuaded her” to take cash for his benefit, initially for a spurious investment opportunity and later by saying he was in trouble and at risk of violence and needed money to save him.”
Judge Cummings ordered blonde haired Barrow to carry out 80 hours unpaid work and to attend 20 days probation rehabilitation course.
Defence barrister Marianne Alton told the court that Barrow had been suffering from depression following the break-up of her marriage and was very vulnerable.
She had intended to repay the money and quickly and she believed he would return the cash to her but despite her begging him he did not do so. The circumstances of her offending fell just short of acting under duress, said Miss Alton.
She is now earning £33,000 pa working for a family run exhibition company in Blackburn who are unaware of her offending. When Judge Cummings queried this she said that she had not been charged at the time she got the job and had not been asked after convictions.