Thiev­ing clerk will have to sell house to re­pay em­ployer

Western Mail - - NEWS -

A TRUSTED ac­counts clerk who stole more than £330,000 from her em­ployer will have to sell her house to re­pay some of the money.

Bev­er­ley Pearce, 54, was jailed af­ter she ad­mit­ted steal­ing from Pon­typridd-based build­ing com­pany Bre­con­gate – her em­ployer of 16 years – putting jobs at risk.

In a vic­tim im­pact state­ment read at her sen­tenc­ing hear­ing in Fe­bru­ary, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Paul Jones said: “The money she has taken has dam­aged our busi­ness.”

The court heard the mother of two pock­eted a to­tal of £339,817.82 be­tween 2011 and 2016.

Dur­ing a Pro­ceeds of Crime Act hear­ing at Cardiff Crown Court prose­cu­tor Claire Pick­thall said the de­fen­dant had £46,209.84 avail­able.

She asked the judge to make a con­fis­ca­tion or­der, with the money to be paid in com­pen­sa­tion to Bre­con­gate.

Clare Wilks, de­fend­ing, said her client would need to sell her house to raise the funds.

She asked for three months – the max­i­mum pe­riod al­lowed – for Pearce to pay the money.

If the de­fen­dant does not pay in that time she could go to prison for 12 months, although she can ap­ply for an ex­ten­sion.

She was jailed ear­lier this year for 32 months af­ter she pleaded guilty to theft.

Pearce, from Poplar Road in Rhy­dyfe­lin, started the of­fend­ing when she could not af­ford to pay her mort­gage.

Ms Wilks said her client was ad­dicted to on­line gam­bling.

Judge Thomas Crowther QC told her at the sen­tenc­ing hear­ing: “You have lost your good name.”

> Bev­er­ley Pearce

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