Accounts clerk stole £120,000

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AN accounts clerk who stole £120,000 from a fuel distribution company has been spared jail.

Beverley Ann Honnor, of Francis Way, Hetton, worked at WCF Fuels North-East Ltd, in Peterlee.

She paid cheques into an account she opened in her name and that of her former husband, unknown to him.

Lesley Kirkup, prosecuting, said Honnor would “borrow” amounts one month intending to pay it back the next, making small payments to meet the shortfall.

Honnor, 50, admitted theft and fraud.

Her barrister, Vince Ward, said: “It was a result of an exceptional combination of difficult circumstances in her life, including the ill-health of her father and a deteriorating marriage.”

Mr Ward said she had agreed to forego her work pension entitlement, amounting to £32,343, to partly recompense WCF Fuels.

At Durham Crown Court, Recorder Andrew Kelbrick said, “as an act of mercy”, given her domestic situation, he would suspend the inevitable prison sentence.

He imposed a 12-month sentence suspended for two years.

Honnor must also do 200 hours’ unpaid work, and observe a 12-week curfew.