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Embezzler has 'never explained' where the £99k went

Donna Hartshorne stole more than ninety-nine thousand pounds from her employers Photo: Kent Police

A woman from Ashford who stole more than £100,000 from her employer - including the bank charges incurred - has been jailed for 18 months.

Thirty-seven year old Donna Hartshorne of Cross Stile, had worked as an accounts administrator for a small family run business since June 2011. She was responsible for paying fuel bills and dealing with correspondence.

The fraud was uncovered when she took six weeks off work and her colleagues were asked to backfill her and take over her workload. They found that the company was making payments to 3 bank accounts which they did not recognise. There no explanation as to why the payments were being made or what the payments were for.

The enquiries that followed showed that Hartshorne had made eighty-two payments to herself which totalled £99,746 between August 2012 and July 2016. The company had lost a total of just under £101,000 including the bank charges which were incurred for each payment.

Donna Hartshorne was arrested by Kent Police on 16 September 2016. She pleaded guilty to 'theft by employee' and was sentenced to 18 months in jail on Thursday 16th March 2017.

‘Thefts like this are a violation of trust and it is upsetting not just for the owners of the business but the staff who work there and would have felt the impact of Hartshorne’s actions.

‘She has never been able to explain what she spent the stolen money on and I am pleased with this outcome.’

– Detective Constable Jacqueline Mennie, the investigating officer