Anger of boss at thieving secretary

NILALM110308B1 - John Wright is arngy at the lenient sentence his former secretery recieved after she stole over �2500 from him.

NILALM110308B1 - John Wright is arngy at the lenient sentence his former secretery recieved after she stole over �2500 from him.

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THE boss of a Cotmanhay firm has blasted his former secretary for stealing from the company credit card.

Nottingham Crown Court ordered Karen Byrne, 46, to pay back £2,000 she stole from Wrightway Pressure Cleaning Service, which she spent on items including a £70 shower, a shower curtain and DVDs.

The 46-year-old, who had worked at the Bennerley Avenue firm for two years, was arrested last summer after boss John Wright, 49, discovered the thefts.

“I’m very angry,” he said. “I had been wondering why the business wasn’t doing fantastically, despite us having lots of work on.

“We were keeping our head above water but that was about it.”

Byrne, of Swanwick Road, Cotmanhay, used her position in charge of wages to access the company account to buy items on the internet.

A further £132.50 was stolen from a blank cheque John had given her in case of emergencies while he was on holiday.

He said that his suspicions were first raised in June last year when he noticed a jar of coffee on the statement, which was not in the office.

“I’m not a paperwork man so I left her to it – you just trust people to do a good job,” he said.

“I didn’t suspect anything to start with, I couldn’t fault her.”

But it was only after she left her job that Mr Wright discovered the extent of her thefts.

He called police and she was arrested in July, appearing in court on Tuesday February 15 where she pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft and making false representations.

She was given a six-month prison sentence suspended for a year and was electronically tagged for three months.

She was ordered to pay £2,000 compensation to John at a rate of £20 a week.

But John says he has still been left out of pocket and claims he has now been forced to pay Byrne’s national insurance contributions – about £500 worth – out of the company coffers as well.

“It’s not fair,” he said. “But there’s not a lot else I can do – I’ve just got to suffer it.”