Woman Stole More Than 230,000 Pounds To Supply Gambling Habit

This story was published more than 11 years ago.

A 56 year old woman plead guilty to stealing more than £230,000 from her employer to help feed an online gambling habit and pay for vacations.

Kay Fearnley stole the funds from her employer in Headingly, Yorkshire over a period of six years. Fearnley worked at the company as an accounts clerk until she was downsized, after which her crimes were discovered.

Fearnley was sentenced to 3 years 9 months in jail for eight counts of fraud by false invoicing by Judge Geoffrey Marson QC. Speaking to Fearnley about her crimes, the Judge said “It may not have been the most sophisticated method of stealing but it was one that went on over a period of six years."

“Over that period (2004 to 2011) you stole from your employers no less than £236,000. Most of it has gone on gambling, some of it on holidays abroad… whatever happened to it, it was a gross breach of trust.”

Prosecutor Louise Pryke made the case that Fearnley actions were ‘a planned and thorough and systematic fraud.’

“She identified a weakness in the accounts department and exploited it.” Pryke said. She went on to say that the money was apparently spent on credit cards, shopping, online gambling, and vacations. When she was arrested, Fearnley had £4,400 in her banking account, which has been seized.