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Walsall secretary jailed for £10k cheque scam

By Carl Jackson | Brownhills | News | Published:

A secretary who ‘inexplicably’ tried to steal £10,000 from her company in a clumsy cheque scam, has been jailed.

Wolverhampton Crown Court where the case was held

Amanda Edwards’ own lawyer even described her crimes as a ‘bad' attempt which was ‘never going to work’.

The 57-year-old mother of four grown-up children tried to cash a cheque for herself worth £10,000 by using one she had stolen from Claridge Electricals, based in Brownhills and Walsall Wood, where she had worked part-time.

Edwards, of Lichfield Road, Walsall, drafted it herself and vigilant bank staff noticed the handwriting was similar on the cheque to the paying-in slip, whilst the signature later emerged to be false.

A stop had also been placed on it when the firm discovered it was missing, which alerted police when she tried tried to cash it in November, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.

Edwards pleaded guilty to theft by employee and fraud by misrepresentation earning her a six-month jail term.

It is not the first time she has tried to steal from her employers having several previous convictions for similar offences to her name and been imprisoned for 12 weeks in July 2015.

Speaking in her defence barrister Andrew Baker countered an argument from prosecutors that the crime was sophisticated whilst also pointing to Edwards' difficult personal life.

He said: "There is no rational explanation for what she did.

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"Her family circumstances have been troubled from a long way back.

"She is in a stable relationship although she cares for her partner, and recently had the trauma of losing her father.

"It is accepted these offences are strikingly similar to ones she committed 10 to 15 years ago.

"It is accepted this is a high value deception from a small firm but it was never going to work.

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"The value of that cheque was always going to be queried.

"This doesn't have a degree of sophistication. In very short terms it was a bad offence."

He added: "She has accepted what she has done.

"The reasons for this were quite inexplicable."

Sentencing her on Tuesday Recorder John Edwards said: "You were a part-time receptionist at Claridge Electricals which doubtlessly can ill-afford to lose £10,000.

"You have abused that trust but recognised what you have done by pleading guilty at the first opportunity.

"Many of us will know what it is like to have to care for someone which can be extremely onerous.

"I can understand why that has had a profound effect on your life but it is no excuse for dishonesty.

"You have previous convictions for similar offences and have shown yourself to be a woman ingrained in this dishonest activity."

Carl Jackson

By Carl Jackson
@CarlJackson_LDR

Local Democracy Reporter covering Birmingham City Council.

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