Burnley mum (45) jailed for stealing £8,000 from boss

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A CROOKED mum-of-two who has stolen 25 times from three different bosses is behind bars after going on a spending spree with another employer’s cash.

Lynda Atkinson (45) kept quiet about her record when she became accounts manager at Denwa Ltd, Burnley, and paid more than £8,000 of the firm’s money into her own bank account.

Atkinson, who said she could not cope with the job, told police she acted out of desperation and had paid off arrears and bills. But, the town’s crown court heard, she was not drowning in debt and bank statements showed she had gone on a shopping trip one day she helped herself to money.

The hearing was told, in 1985, the defendant, said to be generous to others as she wanted to be loved, had been fined after stealing from a firm where she was on a YTS scheme. In 1990, she was locked up for eight months after stealing five times from a local car dealership. After she was sacked from Denwa, she got another job and was arrested there over her crime last summer, in February.

Atkinson, of Todmorden Road, Burnley, is now serving another eight months, after admitting theft of £8,420, from Denwa, in Bancroft Road, between May and July, last year.

Miss Sarah Statham (prosecuting) said the defendant was taken on at Denwa as accounts manager by managing director Rob Scott in November 2009. She became a trusted employee and he gave her his computer password for the firm’s bank account to pay wages when he was away. Atkinson paid money from the company account into her own bank account, which showed up on Denwa’s and her own statements.

Miss Statham said when Mr Scott returned to work he went through the accounts and discovered the theft. Atkinson told her boss she had made a mistake and would like to rectify the situation but he confronted her with the bank statements and she was dismissed immediately and he called police.

The prosecutor said the defendant had apologised, telling Mr Scott she knew she had let him down and said she had lent a friend £3,000, but had not been repaid.

Atkinson told police a business she had set up had collapsed, her marriage had failed and she had previously been declared bankrupt. Miss Statham added: “On one particular day when she paid money into her account she appeared to have gone to various shops and spent money.”

Mr Tim Storrie (defending) said she had been under great pressure at Denwa and was “contactable and contacted at all hours”. She was not up to it in terms of her skills or emotional makeup, was stressed and had been drinking too much.

Mr Storrie said the fraud was unsophisticated and bound to be discovered. He continued: “She is at a loss to know what would become of her children were she to go to prison.”

Sentencing Atkinson, Judge Beverly Lunt said: “You are a dishonest woman and, when it pleases you, are happy stealing from somebody who has not only given you employment, but is paying you.”