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Jail for payroll fraudster who gave herself a £30,000 pay rise

A single mother who gave herself a £30,000 pay rise while working as a payroll co-ordinator has been jailed for nine months.

Belfast Crown Court heard it was the second time mother-of-three Sherrie-Lee Hunter (28) had helped herself to an employer's funds.

Hunter, of Parkmount Parade, Belfast, got into debt in an effort to project a false image of her lifestyle and to provide for her children's growing needs, said Judge Donna McColgan, QC.

Prosecutor Joseph Murphy told an earlier court hearing that a member of staff in the Cardiff branch of international company First Source Solutions complained about two missing pay slips. A subsequent investigation revealed Hunter's wrongdoing.

Mr Murphy also revealed that between July and November 2011, while employed by Chain Reaction Cycles, Hunter was involved in "strikingly similar" offending.

Defence lawyer Sean O'Hare said that Hunter had been "extremely foolish" in reoffending.

Hunter pleaded guilty to two charges, one of fraud of abuse by position of trust, and theft. She was jailed for nine months, after which she will be on supervised licensed parole for a similar period.

Belfast Telegraph