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Firm collapsed after crooked manager plundered £12k for shopping spree

A company collapsed after a crooked employee plundered £12,000 from its coffers for a clothes and perfume shopping spree.

Olivia Briscoe’s crimes had a “significant” impact on the finances of the firm and the health of its boss, a court heard.

The 60-year-old helped herself to cash from Bloxwich-based metal polishers AMP, where she was general manager.

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Birmingham Crown Court heard that Briscoe, who had previous convictions and served a jail sentence, knew the boss’s wife from a previous job at a coffee shop and had access to company bank accounts, although no background checks were conducted on her.

She made around 100 withdrawals at cashpoints, taking out more than £10,000 and used the business debit card for personal shopping, buying items including fragrances, clothes and children’s sportswear.

The dishonesty took place between June 2012 and December 2013.

Briscoe, of Leighswood Avenue, Aldridge, Walsall, admitted two charges of fraud, and was handed a 21-month suspended sentence and ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work.

Passing sentence Recorder Simon Readhead QC told her: “These were mean offences. I cannot ignore the fact that this dishonesty was committed when you were in a position of responsibility and trust and you abused them.”

He said the offences were aggravated because they were against employer and because he had been her friend.

The judge continued: “This is not the first time you have been before the courts for stealing from your employer. Your record is characterised by dishonesty.”

He said, though, he had taken into account the age of the offences and that she had kept out of trouble since and started her own business.

Alex Krikler, defending, said Briscoe, who had been married for eight years and had children and grandchildren, ran a wedding business which had been struggling and had only recently picked up.

He said she had previously served a prison sentence and had recognised she needed to change her ways. He added that it was not the most sophisticated of frauds.

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