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Ex-Jewson employee jailed for expenses fraud

Victoria Shaw, who stole £17,500 from builders merchant Jewson in order to pay for her wedding, has been jailed for 15 months.

A personal assistant to a district manager at Jewson in St Annes, Lancashire, Shaw had admitted fraudulently claiming the expenses between June and December last year.

Shaw had worked for Jewsons for 12 years and was responsible for organising various events for the company and claimed the money to pay for them. But when it became apparant that her expenses were higher than those of the regional directors, suspicions were aroused and the police called in.

One instance involved her falsely claiming she had paid entertainer Keith Chegwin to attend a company disco. However, although he had been employed by Jewson to do some work, it was not for the event for which Shaw had claimed.

Preston Crown Court was told that when police arrived to interview her she panicked and initially denied the claim, but later admitted that the money had paid for her wedding. Both Shaw and her husband, who also worked for Jewson, have been dismissed, and the money has now been repaid.

Judge Bruce Macmillan, presiding, said that the court would take no pleasure from jailing her but that “it is my duty to deter others”.

Nicola Gatto, defending, said Shaw was of previous good character and had worked for the company for 12 years and had an unblemished career. Her new husband was a divorcee with high maintenance payments for his two children and Shaw had decided to give him a good wedding day after he became depressed.

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About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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