Ely mother who stole £100,000 from business to fund lavish lifestyle is jailed
PUBLISHED: 12:02 19 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:32 19 June 2019
A mother who together with her daughter stole around £100,000 from a Cambridgeshire business to fund Legoland rides and a private number plate has been jailed.
Nicola Hayter, of Carey Close, in Ely, worked as a bookkeeper for construction company Retrofit UK from 2009 to 2016.
The 52-year-old and her daughter used a company credit card to fund Legoland rides, vets bills, a private car number plate and house cleaners.
In January 2016 the company held a suspension meeting with Hayter because she'd taken a loan from them and had asked for £600 but then taken a further £3,000.
Hayter had also used the company's trade account to purchase personal items, Cambridge Crown Court heard.
Because of this, Retrofit looked deeper into their accounts and discovered Hayter had overpaid her own bonuses and spent even more money on the trade account.
Hayter had spent large amounts on the company credit card each month but had been paying the bills off at the end of the month to avoid being caught.
For a period of time, Hayter's daughter Emily Griffiths, 26, of Capper Road, Waterbeach, had also worked for Retrofit.
Investigations revealed Hayter had overpaid her daughter's wages and transferred Griffiths even more money from the company's bank account when she was no longer working there.
Hayter had also used the company's bank account to pay for Griffiths's house to be cleaned.
In police interview, Hayter admitted spending some money on the company's card but suggested others also used it.
She admitted transferring Griffiths £8,500 to 'help her out' but said she was going to pay it back.
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Hayter told officers she had overpaid her own bonus by mistake and claimed she had upped the limit on the company's card to pay the company's bills.
When Griffiths was interviewed, she admitted also using the company card at Legoland as well as for car repairs and new tyres.
However, she claimed Hayter had the authority to let other people use it.
Both Hayter and Griffiths stood trial at Cambridge Crown Court in January.
DC Kate Housham said: "Hayter and Griffiths used the business's bank card for their own gain with absolutely no consideration for others as they stole from their own employer.
"This kind of behaviour is unacceptable and we will not tolerate it in our communities.
"Their actions have caused their colleagues a lot of distress and I hope they will now reflect on the effect they have had on the people around them."
Hayter pleaded guilty to theft while the trial was ongoing and jurors later found Griffiths guilty of possessing criminal property.
On January 11 Griffiths was sentenced to 34 weeks in prison, suspended for 18 months.
She was also ordered to complete a 25-day rehabilitation activity requirement.
Hayter was released on police bail and given the chance to repay the money she stole.
However she was then sentenced at The Old Bailey in London yesterday (June 18) where she was handed three years and six months in prison.
A Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA) hearing will take place on July 9.