Fraudster must repay firm £10,278

A NORTH Yorkshire woman who avoided prison after swindling her employers at Bingley-based thermal-wear company Damart out of more than £40,000 has been ordered to repay about a quarter of the cash.

Janine Askins, 46, wept in the dock at Bradford Crown Court last October as a judge sentenced her to a 12-month jail term, suspended for two years, after she admitted charges of fraud and money laundering.

Former payroll manager Askins, of Park Grove, Knaresborough, was ordered to do 250 hours unpaid work for the community as part of her sentence and yesterday she appeared back in court for a further hearing under the Proceeds of Crime Act.

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Prosecutor Sam Andrews told Judge Peter Benson that Askins’s benefit figure from her crimes amounted to £42,060.61 and she had realisable assets of £10,278.98.

Judge Benson was told that instead of a confiscation order the £10,278.98 would be used as compensation for Damart.

Askins was given six months to repay the money and told she faced six months in jail if she did not pay up.

The court heard last year that she dishonestly moved money into her three bank accounts over a 16-month period after starting work for the company at Bowling Green Mills, Lime Street, Bingley, in August, 2009.

She pleaded guilty to one offence of fraud and six of money laundering between June 2010 and last October.

Askins fiddled the books because of debts, including mortgage arrears. She was said to be suffering from depression at the time and her husband, who suffered mental health problems, had been made redundant.