A crooked finance officer who swindled more than £120,000 out of Staffordshire Probation Service to settle her debts has been ordered to pay back just £1.
Gillian Marshall, of Teddesley Park, Penkridge, is currently serving a two-year prison sentence.
She had been working for the probation service for 13 years when she began fiddling the books. Over the space of five-and-a-half years, the 56-year-old systematically stole money from the petty cash account.
As a senior finance officer, she was able to write out cheques to herself and withdraw the money undetected, filling in the cheque stubs with just one-tenth of the amount or nothing at all.
She was found out only when the service underwent a restructuring in 2010 and merged with the West Midlands probation area.
Marshall pleaded guilty to six charges of theft by an employee between April 2005 and November 2010 and was sentenced at Derby Crown Court last October to two years in prison.
She was back in court at Derby yesterday for a proceeds of crime hearing to determine how much of the stolen amount could be recovered.
The prosecution and defence agreed that Marshall benefited by a total of £144,725, taking inflation into account.
Honorary recorder Judge John Burgess said that as she did not currently have the means to pay, he was fixing a compensation sum of £1 in lieu of a nominal one day in prison.
However, the Crown Prosecution Service is expected to make another application for her to repay the full amount when she can start claiming her pension. Her pension matures in two years’ time.
Mr Chris Geeson, prosecuting, said there was no evidence that Marshall had been living a criminal lifestyle. She had struggled financially after getting into debt and used the money from the petty cash account to pay back what she owed.
Miss Saleema Mahmood, representing her, said Marshall, who began working for the probation service in 1992, had a pension policy which she would not be able to access until it matures in mid-2015.
Ali Bell, spokeswoman for the Staffordshire and West Midlands Probation Service, said Marshall had held position of trust in the finance unit until the theft was eventually discovered.
She was suspended immediately and later sacked following a disciplinary hearing.