Peterborough mum stole £75,000 from family run firm to fund gambling addiction

Dianne Polson
Dianne Polson

A woman who stole £75,000 from her employers to fund her gambling addiction has been jailed for more than three years.

Dianne Polson (45) of Oak Avenue, Hampton, Peterborough, siphoned the money from Woodston firm Canopy Direct UK over a three and a half year period.

Polson, who worked on the administration side of the family run business, would file orders under refunds - but instead of refunding firms, she pocketed the money herself.

The company, which manufacturers kitchen fans and extractors for restaurants and hotels, has had to halve its workforce as a result of Polson’s actions, and nearly closed as a result.

Today she appeared at Peterborough Crown Court, where she was given a 40 month jail term after admitting fraud by false representation.

The court heard she started by taking a small amount of money in 2015, the year she was employed by the firm - but the sums she stole snowballed, until she was stealing thousands of pounds in a month.

She was eventually caught in August last year.

Marti Blair, prosecuting, told the court there was little prospect of any of the £75,785.88 being recovered, as Polson had no assets.

Polson told police she knew she had ‘been really stupid’ and didn’t intially set out to take any money, even claiming she didn’t attend her disciplinary hearing at work because she was ‘too embarassed’.

Nenad Spasojevic, defending, urged Judge Sean Enright to suspend the sentence, telling the court Polson had shown remorse for her offending, and had also sought help for her gambling problem.

He also said Polson had a major role in caring for her teenage daughter, who suffers mental health issues.

However, Judge Sean Enright said only an immediate prison sentence was appropriate, and questioned how much remorse Polcon had actually shown.

DC Helen Keighley, who investigated the case together with DC Robin Gray, said: “Polson transferred profits from the small family business to her own bank card for her own gain. She had absolutely no consideration for others as she stole from her own employer.

“Her actions caused her colleagues a lot of distress and nearly caused the business to close completely. I hope she will now reflect on the effect she had on the people around her.”