Mansfield postmistress stole £6,000 to pay off debt collectors
A Mansfield postmistress who got into debt admitted falsifying her post office accounts to the tune of over £32,000.
Kerry Collier (43), who ran the Oak Tree Lane estate post office for nearly four years, stole £6,000 to hand over to debt collectors, Nottingham Crown Court heard.
But a judge accepted her motive was not greed and sentenced her to 10 months prison suspended for two years on Friday.
She will also have to do 150 hours’ unpaid work for the community.
Collier, of The Patchills, Mansfield, who was of previous good character, pleaded guilty to theft and false accounting.
She had worked at other sub-post offices since 2001, said Paul Wright, prosecuting.
An audit was carried out at Oak Tree in February after Post Office investigators were alerted to discrepancies in the accounts. The total shortage was £32,081.
Interviewed in March she said she had personal debts and a debt collector had demanded £6,000 for unpaid rent.
She had tried to balance the books by falsifying figures.
The false accounting took place between April last year and February 20 this year.
Her barrister Katrina Wilson said: “It is an incredibly sad case in many ways.”
Recorder Michael Swain told Collier: “These were flagrant breaches of trust. The Post Office was deprived of over £32,000.”
A proceeds of crime hearing was fixed for 2nd November.
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