Postmistress stole from employers
A SUB-postmistress who stole more than £18,000 from her employers has been jailed for nine months. Helen Jones stole the money while running the Theberton sub post office from her home two days a week and the Kelsale sub post office three mornings a week from a local church hall, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday .
A SUB-postmistress who stole more than £18,000 from her employers has been jailed for nine months.
Helen Jones stole the money while running the Theberton sub post office from her home two days a week and the Kelsale sub post office three mornings a week from a local church hall, Ipswich Crown Court heard yesterday .
Christine Hayes, prosecuting, said that Jones, a mother-of-three, had stolen £18,600 from the Post Office between July 2001 and November 2003.
She said Jones had been the sub-postmistress at Theberton since September 1998 and had held the post at Kelsale since June 2001.
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She was suspended in November 2003 following an audit. When questioned about the missing money Jones admitted taking sums of up to £100-a-week for housekeeping expenses and said she had always intended to repay the money.
She admitted taking money from Kelsale post office to Theberton to cover up her shortfall there, and said she had lost track of the money going from one post office to the other.
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Jones, 36, of Church Road, Theberton, admitted theft.
Jailing her for nine months, of which she will have to serve half, Judge John Devaux said he was obliged to pass a prison sentence as a deterrent to anyone else tempted to commit such an offence.
Matthew McNiff, for Jones, said she had no previous convictions and was unlikely to reoffend.
He said she had made a positive contribution to the community in which she lived and the parish clerk had come to court to support her.
The stolen money had not been spent on high living, he said, and was used to pay day-to-day living expenses.
He said the defendant's three children aged eight, 13 and 15 were "innocent third parties" in the case.
He added that she was determined to repay the money she had stolen.