Landlady spared jail after theft

A PUB landlady has been spared jail today despite stealing more than £6,000 from the post office where she worked as a sub post mistress.Jean Senior, 58, of The Case is Altered in Bentley “borrowed” the money from the adjacent post office in a bid to buy beer from the brewery.

A PUB landlady has been spared jail today despite stealing more than £6,000 from the post office where she worked as a sub post mistress.

Jean Senior, 58, of The Case is Altered in Bentley “borrowed” the money from the adjacent post office in a bid to buy beer from the brewery.

Kieran Dunphy, prosecuting at South East Suffolk Magistrates' Court, said Senior had taken the money to keep the pub going.

He said she had wanted to keep the staff on and make payments to the brewery and had not benefited financially from her crime.

Senior admitted taking the money at an earlier hearing and said she had been struggling to run the pub and post office while her husband had been ill.

In a letter to the court she said: “I didn't mean to cause a problem, I just wasn't thinking straight.

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“I am honest, never before have I been in trouble and I won't be again.”

The court heard she was caught when a colleague, who she had asked to assist her, contacted the Post Office.

Senior was away in Spain at the time and returned to face questions from Post Office investigators.

Mr Dunphy said she had made “full admissions”.

Nigel Inniss, mitigating, presented a host of letters from the Bentley community vouching for the 58-year-old's integrity and honesty.

They included glowing references from an architect and retired teacher as well as other village residents.

District Judge David Cooper, sentencing, said: “This is an incredibly sad case and, as far as I am concerned, it was just a complete mess.

“If I followed the guidelines I would have to send you (Senior) straight to prison but I just think that would be grotesque.

“You have served the community and are of previous good character. What you did wasn't to line your pockets it was really to keep going an enterprise that helped the community.”

Judge Cooper sentenced Senior to a 12 week prison sentence suspended for one year.

She was also ordered to do 80 hours of unpaid work and to pay £559.98 compensation and £200 costs.

Mr Inniss said Senior had now paid back almost all of the stolen money from her own pocket.

N What do you think? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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