Swindler must repay £23,000

THOUSANDS of pounds were swindled out of a top hotel by an accounts clerk from Stevenage who worked there. Janet Day, 42, worked as a ledger clerk at Sopwell House Hotel, St Albans from January 2005 until October 2007 but it was only after she left that m

THOUSANDS of pounds were swindled out of a top hotel by an accounts clerk from Stevenage who worked there.

Janet Day, 42, worked as a ledger clerk at Sopwell House Hotel, St Albans from January 2005 until October 2007 but it was only after she left that managers discovered that large sums of money had gone missing.

St Albans Crown Court heard today (Wednesday) that further sums had been transferred from Day's account into that of her partner Gary Brown.

Day made no comment when she was arrested for stealing £23,000 from the hotel but Brown, 38, admitted putting pressure on her to steal the money to fund his growing drink and drugs debt.

The pair, who still live together in Hillside House, Stevenage, had both pleaded guilty to conspiring to steal the money at a hearing in April.

Day escaped jail but Judge John Plumstead said she would have to repay the money and a confiscation order has been set in motion.

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She was also ordered to carry out 70 hours unpaid work under the terms of a 12-month community order.

Notu Hoon, for Day, said she had lost her job shortly before the previous hearing but had since found work in Letchworth GC from which she cleared £900 a month.

Judge Plumstead told her: "You have thrown away your good character under pressure from your partner."

Brown was given an eight -month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to carry out six months supervised probation.

Judge Plumstead said he had been thinking of imposing a curfew on Brown but felt that might have a bad effect on Day's life. Instead he banned him from all licensed premises for six months unless he was taking Day out for a meal at a restaurant.

He told Brown: "Your life has been a mess - much of it not your fault but then your drink and drug abuse is even more shameful when it causes somebody else to commit a crime.

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