Mum will spend Christmas in jail after stealing £111,000 from hotel

Lowery spent £90,000 of stolen money on gambling websites (Image: North News and Pictures)

A mother-of-five transferred £111,000 from a pub she worked at to her own account to fund a gambling addiction.

Charlotte Lowery, 36, diverted £111,024 belonging to the Tankerville Arms, in Wooler, Northumberland, to her own bank account.

Newcastle Crown Court heard she spent £90,000 of the stolen cash on gambling websites and used the rest to ‘live well beyond her means’.

Due to the loss, hotelier Anne Park was forced to take out loans to keep her business afloat and may now have to sell her home to cover the repayments, the Northumberland Gazette reports.

Ms Park said in a victim impact statement: ‘I had hoped to retire and leave a thriving business to my sons. Instead, I will leave them nothing.’

The 72-year-old owner said that even after the dishonesty was exposed, Lowery demanded £2,740 in holiday pay and threatened to take her to court and was therefore forced to pay it.

Ms Park, who said the theft has affected her health, added: “What kind of person does that?”

Lowery, of Willow Close, Lesbury, who was a friend as well as an employee of the hotel and had access to the finances as part of her general duties, admitted theft between February 2020 and May 2021, during which she was paid over £28,000 in wages .

Dated: 01/12/2022 Mum-of-five Charlotte Lowery, who will spend Christmas behind bars after being jailed at Newcastle Crown Court for stealing over £100,000 from the hotel where she worked.  See the story Nordnytt

Charlotte will spend Christmas behind bars (Image: North News and Pictures)

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Recorder Simon Goldberg KC sentenced Lowery to 28 months behind bars.

The judge said: ‘To threaten your employer with court over holiday pay after this was discovered was frankly despicable.’

Prosecutor Emma Dowling told the court bank records show Lowery had transferred around £90,000 of the stolen cash to a total of 26 different online gambling sites.

Miss Dowling told the court: ‘The extra £20,076 was effectively used to supplement her income and allow her to live well beyond her means.’

Prosecutors launched proceedings under the Proceeds of Crime Act, in a bid to recover at least some of the money, but Miss Dowling said there is none left.

She told the court: ‘The defendant currently has no financial means to repay but has clearly benefited from her criminal behaviour.’

Miss Dowling invited the judge to make a nominal repayment order of £1, which he did, adding: ‘If the defendant ever got into a position where she could make repayment, this order could be reinstated.’

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