Farm supply boss stole £340,000 to pay for ‘shopping obsession’

A farming supplies company manager has been jailed after stealing more than £340,000 to fund a shopping obsession.

Susan Warren, former finance manager at Fearing International was found guilty of taking thousands from the Northampton firm over seven years.

Ms Warren, 57, of Brampton Grange Drive, Daventry, was found out after the firm’s parent company, Ritchey Limited, discovered anomalies in their accounts in 2011.

See also: Farmer uses tax fraud cash to buy sports car and boat

It began a disciplinary hearing which found Ms Warren had been diverting substantial payments into her own bank and credit card accounts.

At a hearing at Northampton Crown Court on Thursday (11 September), the court was told that Ms Warren used the money to buy supermarket shopping and clothes.

Defending, Steven Evans said she used the money to “maintain family relations”. She had debts of £35,000 and was taking loans from other banks and lenders.

Mr Evans said the money did not fund a lavish lifestyle, but instead came through an “obsession and a compulsion for shopping”.

Ms Warren was sentenced to two-and-a-half years and told she will have to repay all the money – something recorder Ian Dove said would take her many years.

The court heard that offences involved her creating false invoices to purchase stock from suppliers.

Ms Warren pleaded guilty to the charges and told probation officers that was relieved she had been caught.

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