Judge lifts curfew on netball nights

A CURFEW has been slapped on a netball player who cheated a company.

But the judge said the curfew on Jokers goalshooter Paula Balmforth, left, would not apply on Mondays or Thursdays – the nights two Halifax netball leagues play. Balmforth, 52, forged signatures to obtain more than £14,000 from Greenwood Personal Credit.

She was a self-employed credit agent with the ability to authorise loans to 72 customers, who included home owners in Calderdale.

For this she was given a daily float and Bradford Crown Court heard she also stole £1,100 of that .

The fraud was discovered when one customer received a letter about a loan he had never taken out.

He phoned head office who saw that signatures had been forged. Balmforth claimed the loans were legitimate but she then disappeared and was reported missing.

The company received a phone call a few days later from Balmforth saying she wanted “to tell them everything”.

She pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position and a further count of theft of £1,100.

The court heard she had repaid £4,976.20. Niall Carlin, defending, said Balmforth, of Emmanuel Terrace, Huddersfield, had said the whole thing had “snowballed” and she began taking out further loans.

Recorder Simon Myerson ssentenced her to a community order, along with the four-month curfew, which will not apply on Mondays and Thursdays.