Employee jailed after stealing £30k and almost closing family business

PUBLISHED: 07:00 02 March 2018

Kelly Marie Ford.

Kelly Marie Ford.

Sub

A family-run garage supplier was almost forced to close after one of its employees stole more than £30,000 to buy herself alcohol.

Andy and Cori Taylor with bookkeeper Tina Brooker. Picture: Eleanor YoungAndy and Cori Taylor with bookkeeper Tina Brooker. Picture: Eleanor Young

Kelly Marie Ford, aged 40, has been jailed for three years after stealing £30,447.82 from Auto Workshop Equipment Services where she worked as a bookkeeper.

Ford, of Stiling Close in Highbridge, pleaded guilty to fraud and appeared at Bristol Crown Court for sentencing on February 21.

She started working for the Rooksbridge business in February 2015 and began stealing within days of starting, despite being on a 12-month suspended sentence for defrauding a Midsomer Norton business out of nearly £40,000.

Auto Workshop’s managing director Andy Taylor said he was not aware of Ford’s illegal past before hiring her.

Andy and Cori Taylor with bookkeeper Tina Brooker. Picture: Eleanor YoungAndy and Cori Taylor with bookkeeper Tina Brooker. Picture: Eleanor Young

He said: “She would pay one of our suppliers and then pay the identical amount into her bank account.

“This whole situation has had a detrimental effect on our customer relations, which in some cases we are still working to resolve. The time taken to correct the situation has also affected our ability to move forward.

“Every time we felt we were getting on top of things, another large problem with the accounts would surface.”

Mr Taylor said Ford deleted records of customers who owed the firm £100,000, of which he has managed to claw back only £20,000. The business is contacting customers to get the money back, but he thinks it will take at least a year to put right.

He added: “Kelly’s actions led me to doubt my ability to look after my father-in-law’s business and livelihood.

“She nearly caused our company to close due to cash flow and loss of work, this would have meant at least six people would have lost their jobs and the closure of a well-respected family company.

“It caused much stress and anguish between my wife and myself. This is a family business and family life has suffered as a result of all of this.

“Every employee is treated as part of the family, as was Kelly, these events and the complete breach of trust has hugely affected staff morale.”

Ford received a two-year sentence for the fraud as well as activating her 12-month suspended sentence from 2015, meaning she was jailed for three years in total and ordered to pay £830 in compensation.

Comments have been disabled on this article.

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 20:00

The Original Rude Boy will be heading to Bristol this weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:01

Local punk band The Run Up will open for Irish folk punk legends Flogging Molly when the Fireball-Fuelling the Fire tour hits the O2 Academy Bristol, next month.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Award-winning drama The Madness Of George III will be broadcast live to cinemas, in National Theatre Live’s first ever broadcast from Nottingham Playhouse on Tuesday.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

Social media users are calling for staff parking charges to be scrapped at Weston General Hospital after it was revealed employees forked out almost £150,000 to park their vehicles.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

A charity ice skating session raised hundreds of pounds for Weston Foodbank.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:00

An old school building which is used for nature education and connects people with one of the area’s finest beauty spots will be flogged by the local authority.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:24

Mini Christmas stockings and festive trees are now on sale at Weston Hospicecare.

Read more
Weston Hospicecare Weston-super-Mare
Yesterday, 12:00

Plans to address shortcomings in special needs education provisions have been approved by a Government watchdog, which previously raised ‘significant concerns’ over services run in the district.

Read more
Yesterday, 11:00

A Weston business owner is ‘proud’ after being named among Britain’s best small shops.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:48

The following cases were heard at North Somerset Courthouse from September 24 to October 3.

Read more
In The Dock

Most Read News

Read Online

Image
Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists