Devon

Devon firm sues to recover stolen money from bookkeeper

Deborah Wolstencroft
Image caption Deborah Wolstencroft says she has spent most of the money she stole

A Devon company has started a court bid to get back nearly £900,000 stolen by a bookkeeper.

Marquesa Search Systems, of Chagford, lost the money between 2001 and 2009 to Deborah Wolstencroft.

The 51-year-old from Plympton, Devon, was jailed in the summer for four years after admitting six thefts totalling £877,000.

Exeter Crown Court heard that she claimed to have spent almost all the money on foreign travel and jewellery.

During the original case, the same court was told Wolstencroft had spent some of the money on trips with her terminally ill husband.

She got her boss Chris Durant to sign blank cheques and then paid money into accounts in her maiden name.

Her crimes were spotted when the bank became suspicious.

Mr Durant and Marquesa are suing Wolstencroft for the return of the money.

Wolstencroft's barrister, Andrew Maitland, told Exeter Crown Court on Tuesday that her only assets left had been valued at £158,000.

Wolstencroft will face a further jail sentence if the court decides she is withholding assets which could go to compensate her victim.

Judge John Wildblood adjourned the case for further investigation to explore Wolstencroft's finances.

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