Mum stole more than £30,000 from business to pay for disabled daughter’s care

Bradford Crown Court
Bradford Crown Court

An Elland mum who stole more than £30,000 while working as a company’s office manager has avoided an immediate jail sentence because of the impact it would have on her disabled daughter and partner.

Judge Jonathan Rose told 46-year-old Joanne Lister that she would have been given a 12-month prison sentence after she admitted two charges of fraud, but he had to take account of the impact on her daughter and partner.

“That child is not a guilty party in any way shape or form and your partner is not a guilty party in any way shape or form,” he told Lister.

“But if I send you to prison it is your child and your partner who will suffer.

“For that reason, and that reason alone, I will suspend that sentence for two years.”

Lister’s crimes came to light last year when accounting discrepancies were discovered while she was on holiday in Cornwall.

Prosecutor Heather Gilmore told Bradford Crown Court that Lister, of Broadlea, Elland, had been overpaying herself while working at Crossley Webb and in total she had stolen £32,700.

Lister, who had no previous convictions, admitted the two charges of fraud earlier this month and Judge Rose ordered her to do 180 hours unpaid work for the community as part of her suspended sentence order.

She will also be subject to a “tagged” night-time curfew at her home for the next three months.

Lister claimed that she had needed the money to pay for her disabled daughter’s care, and in his victims personal statement company managing director Paul Holden described how he had been “devastated” by her offending.

After being told about Lister’s available assets Judge Rose ordered her to pay almost £10,500 in compensation to Mr Holden within the next three months or face a further six months in jail in default.

Judge Rose said Lister had been in a position of trust at the company and had effectively taken control of its finances.

He said she had abused the trust placed in her over a significant period of time.

Judge Rose said Lister’s electronic tag would remind her over the next three months that she was “a criminal and a thief”.