A PENSIONER and her accomplice stole enough money from their workplace to fund a luxury riverside apartment, cars and exotic holidays.
On Monday, February 17, Reading Crown Court sentenced them to prison for the fraud, which took place over eight years and saw Joy Liddiard and Beverly Taylor steal a total of £316,740 from Simpsons Springs and Pressings. The company is based on Latimer Road, Wokingham.
At a hearing in April last year, Liddiard, 81, and from River Court in Charvil, had pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit fraud by abuse of position.
She was sentenced to a total of two years and eight months’ imprisonment.
Taylor, aged 51, of Lucas Place in Bracknell, was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit fraud abuse of position and one count of fraud by majority verdict at a trial which lasted one week and concluded on January 17.
She was sentenced to a total of two years three months’ imprisonment.
The court had heard that Liddiard, over eight years, and Taylor, over five years, had run the accounts and payroll admin office for the small, family-run engineering company.
The pair had complete control of the accounts and payroll systems of the firm, which designs and makes springs of all shapes and sizes in a variety of materials including brass, titanium and phynox.
Thames Valley Police said in a statement that the fraud comprised hundreds of transactions over an eight-year period, which Liddiard began on her own before Taylor joined in the activity.
As part of the fraud, Taylor had her wages paid twice each month and Liddiard profited by purchasing two new cars, funded from the business account.
Senior investigating officer Detective Chief Inspector Mike Bettington of Bracknell and Wokingham CID, said: “This local engineering firm put its faith and trust in these two people to run their accounts and payroll.
“Their actions to defraud the company was a massive breach of this trust and was done in order to fund their extravagant lifestyles.
“This included expensive holidays, the purchase of new cars and a residence in a luxury riverside apartment.
“Liddiard and Taylor amassed a huge loss to the company which has had a devastating impact to the local business.
“This was a challenging investigation due to the length of time it took looking into the hundreds of transactions which we needed to research and investigate thoroughly.
“We are very pleased to have achieved this conviction and will continue to pursue people who commit fraud, regardless of their age of position in society.”