North East Wales

PA Trina Jones' £23k Denbighshire council theft sentence

A personal assistant who stole £23,000 from Denbighshire council to pay off personal debts has been given a suspended prison sentence.

Trina Jones, 45, from Warrington, Cheshire, admitted stealing the money between March 2010 and February.

She had worked for the council finance director, before resigning and writing explaining what she had done, Mold Crown Court heard.

Jones, a mother-of-two, was given a 12-month term, suspended for 18 months.

Jones, who is formerly from Ruthin, was responsible in her job for the admin of Denbighshire's purchase cards, the court heard.

After her husband left her she found that she owed £100,000 for loan agreements she had been forced to sign, and had loan sharks knocking at her door.

She used the council cards on a number of occasions to buy goods for herself which she sold to raise cash of gave to money collectors at her door.

Supermarket shopping, a train journey and a trip to Belgium had also been paid for with the cards.

The court heard how she resigned and wrote a long letter to the council explaining what she had done and apologising for it. An audit was carried out which confirmed the loss.

Judge Philip Hughes said Jones was guilty of stealing £23,389 from her employer over a two-year period.

"You were in a position of responsibility as personal assistant to the head of finance at the authority," the judge said.

"In that capacity you had access to the purchasing cards, which you were responsible for. But you used them for your own ends."

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