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Mother faces prison sentence

PUBLISHED: 03:39 26 February 2002 | UPDATED: 11:26 03 March 2010

A SUFFOLK mother of three young boys may be sent to prison for swindling more than £3,000 from her employer.

Patricia Nelhams, 31, denied 18 charges of theft totalling around £600 from Provident Personal Credit Ltd, a loan company she worked for as an agent.

A SUFFOLK mother of three young boys may be sent to prison for swindling more than £3,000 from her employer.

Patricia Nelhams, 31, denied 18 charges of theft totalling around £600 from Provident Personal Credit Ltd, a loan company she worked for as an agent.

She also pleaded not guilty to 10 counts of furnishing false information by receiving loans of £5,400 contrary to the terms of her agency agreement.

Nelhams, of Pembroke Close, Mildenhall, was found guilty at Ipswich Crown Court of seven counts of receiving the prohibited loans totally £3,514.

However the jury found her not guilty of three counts of furnishing false information and all 18 counts of theft.

The jury took four hours and 16 minutes to reach their verdicts.

Hugh Vass, prosecuting asked that Nelhams should pay compensation to the loan company.

Carl Fender, mitigating, requested a pre-sentence report to be prepared before Nelhams, who is of previous good character, is sentenced.

He said her three sons aged between eight and 12 years were aware of the court proceedings but did not realise their mother could face jail.

Judge Peter Thompson said: "I'm not saying you will go to prison but I'm saying you might."

He released on Nelhams on unconditional bail until next month when she is due to be sentenced.

During the trial Nelhams told the jury she could not account for the £600 which was missing when her agency was terminated.

She said she had taken out loans for herself through her customers but she had not realised that this practise was specifically forbidden.

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