Judge’s warning for ‘inherently dishonest’ Penarth woman | News …

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

By AJ Sicluna

in Crime

A project manager with Citizens’ Advice Bureau went on two shoplifting expeditions when subject to a suspended sentence of 15 months that had been passed after she was convicted of defrauding a previous employer, Marks Spencer, of £45,000, Cardiff Crown Court has heard.

Lisa Jones (36) of Albert Road, Penarth, had appeared at Cardiff Crown Court for sentence after being convicted for two offences of shoplifting.

She was also in breach of a suspended sentence for fraud which had been passed at Cardiff Crown Court in December 2014.

Judge Stephen Hopkins QC described her as: “An inherently dishonest woman” and remanded her in custody overnight.

Visibly distraught, she was led to the cells, handcuffed, by two dock officers.

When she appeared the following day, she was fined a total of £400 and ordered to pay £340 costs.

Said the Judge: “If you appear in a criminal court again, I doubt that you will be dealt with so leniently.”

Prosecutor Claire Wilkes said that on two occasions in October, she stole clothing from Coast in St David’s Centre, Cardiff.

Jones went there on a third occasion and was spotted by security staff and detained.

She said: “It was stupid, what can I say, I’ve got the stuff in my house.”

She could not give a reason for the theft.

Ms Wilkes said that in her previous employment, she had been a finance manager with Marks Spencer, and over three years she defrauded expenses worth £45,000. She currently earns £36,000.

Her solicitor, Adam Sharp, said she had already repaid £12,000.

After the shoplifting, she had fully cooperated with the police and they had recovered some of the stolen property in a saleable condition.

“She is genuinely ashamed and remorseful.

“There is a background of depression, and she takes medication and has had counselling.”

The first sentence, he said, also involved 240 hours unpaid work, which she had completed. He said that if she went to prison immediately, it would have a massive impact on her and her family.

He added: “She’s adamant it’ll never happen again.”

Judge Hopkins said: “Your behaviour demonstrates that you are an inherently dishonest woman.”

He said that it had seemed “astonishing” that she generously received a 15-month suspended sentence for fraud, committed over three years, which had been a serious breach of trust.

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