Woman, 50, who stole £800,000 from work is locked up for two years

Cancer-stricken mother, 50, who stole £800,000 from work to buy luxury handbags and trips to Cuba, Mexico and Tenerife is locked up for two years as accomplice colleague is spared jail

  • Kathryn Jones from Darwen, stole money from plastic manufacturing company 
  • 50-year-old transferred money into her bank account to fund luxury lifestyle
  • Her colleague, Beryl Shore, 61, stole more than £184k but avoided jail sentence

Kathryn Jones outside Preston Crown Court in June where she pleaded guilty to two counts of theft

A mother who stole more than half a million pounds from her employer to fund lavish holidays and expensive gifts has been jailed for two years. 

Kathryn Jones transferred money from Technical Plastics Limited into her own bank over a five-year period, using it to pay for holidays to Cuba, Mexico and Tenerife.

As an admin assistant, the 50-year-old from Darwen in Lancashire, had main access to employees’ wages and expenses.  

Her colleague Beryl Shore, 61, stole more than £184,000 and continued to accept payments after she had retired. 

At Preston Crown Court yesterday the two former colleagues pleaded guilty to theft between 2011 and 2016.   

Prosecutor Peter Cummings said the women were responsible for dealing with staff wages, invoices, internet banking, electrical banking and record keeping.

He told the court the company supported Jones when she was diagnosed with cancer and paid her a full wage. 


Beryl Shore, 61, (left outside court in June and right with her partner), stole more than £184,000 and continued to accept payments after she had retired 

Jones tried to cover up the anomalies in company accounts by saying she was paying sub-contractors. She spent the money on holidays and designer goods (pictured)

Jones, who had an annual salary of £15,572 at the time, tried to cover up the anomalies in company accounts by saying she was paying sub-contractors. 

But the company launched an investigation in September 2016 and found Jones had electronically transferred thousands of pounds into both her own and her husbands’ accounts.

Jones initially denied the theft before she was dismissed for gross misconduct in October 2016. She also admitted to fiddling petty cash from her previous employer.

When asked why she took the money she said: ‘I don’t know, I just don’t know.’


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Mr Cummings added: ‘Shore approached Jones for a loan of £500 and when she started getting the payments she allowed it to continue.

‘She said when her co-defendant was diagnosed with cancer, she didn’t want to report the matter as she thoughts things would be more difficult for her.

‘She said she was a ‘coward’ and used the money to pay off credit card debts and to give presents and money to friends and family.’

Kathryn Jones, 50, far left and Beryl Shore, right.  The company they worked for has since suffered a significant financial loss

Jones tweeted pictured from her holiday in Marbella, including this one with Life on Marbs star, Josh Ortega

The court heard the company has since had to lay off staff and has spent more than £100,000 in legal fees.

Jones’ defence Jon Close said: ‘When she was diagnosed with a serious condition of cancer, she thought she was receiving a death sentence. 

‘She has made three suicide attempts since these offences come to light.She has lost all of her friends. Since these matters came to light she has had two years of hell. At the time she did not consider the consequences.’

Jones was sentenced to 28 months in custody, and will serve half in prison and the remaining on license

Jones pleaded guilty to two counts of theft while Shore pleaded guilty to a single count of theft.

Appearing side by side in the dock, Shore rocked in her seat whilst Jones wept. 

Shore’s defence Rachel Woods said: ‘She has repaid £68,000 by selling her property, handing over her pension to her former employer and using a probate of £6,800 taken from her mother’s equity.’ 

Jones has repaid £27,368.38 of the money she had stolen, the court heard.

Recorder Alexandra Simmonds told Jones: ‘You have paid back a small fraction of what you owe. 

‘Even when you were absent for a long period of time in 2014 having been diagnosed with cancer, you asked to carry on your role and continue to look after the bank accounts during treatment.

‘The company was forced to reduce its workforce. This would not be necessary if you had not stolen considerable sums of money. You stole their buffer.’ 

Jones was sentenced to 28 months in custody, and will serve half in prison and the remaining on license.

Shore was sentenced to 16 months suspended for 12 months, and 25 rehabilitation requirement days. She was also ordered to complete 100 hours’ unpaid work.

Speaking after the trial, John Sturgess, the company’s managing director, said the women ‘had no regard whatsoever for the impact on colleagues’

Kathryn Jones used some of the £800,000 she stole to by this Audi

Speaking after the trial, John Sturgess, the company’s managing director, said: ‘We are glad that they had to face up to their greed, lies and deceit.

‘It was a complete breach of trust and they had no regard whatsoever for the impact on colleagues.’  

Detective Sergeant Richard Buckley added: ‘Jones and Shore have acted in pure greed, defrauding a family-owned business from hundreds of thousands of pounds over a number of years.

‘Jones clearly thought she was going to get away with it. She took full advantage of her position and betrayed her long-term employers for her own personal gain.’

A Proceeds of Crime Act hearing to distinguish how much can be paid back to the company has been listed for January 18 next year. 

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