A former lettings manager who was jailed after stealing £4,800 from the West Derby, Liverpool branch of Belvoir nine years ago has narrowly escaped jail after being found guilty of stealing from another employer.
Heather McCarthy was first convicted of stealing from an employer in Wellingborough, Northamptonshire in 2011 and was given a suspended sentence before being caught embezzling rental funds from Belvoir in 2017.
She was given a prison sentence of 12 weeks for that crime, which involved taking rent in cash but failing to bank all the funds on behalf of her branch’s business.
At the time McCarthy (pictured) said a toxic relationship had led her to descend into a pattern of drug and alcohol abuse and the money she stole had been used to clear drug debts.
She subsequently got a job at recruitment firm Paragon Meed in Manchester but the pattern began to repeat itself, and the firm’s directors suspected she had been operating a timesheet scam to feed her continuing cocaine habit.
McCarthy resigned her position before disciplinary action could be taken and then gave birth to a child in January this year, but was then interviewed by police and a decision taken to prosecute.
In court McCarthy admitted fraud by abuse of position but was given eight-month prison sentence suspended for two years as Judge Paul Lawton told her: “I am not going to have you separated from the child.”
McCarthy has been employed for the past year and has saved up £1,800 to go towards paying back the money she stole from the recruitment firm.