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

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

A mum-of-five transferred £111,000 from a pub she was working at into her own account to fund a gambling addiction.

Charlotte Lowery, 36, diverted £111,024 belonging to the Tankerville Arms, in Wooler, Northumberland, into 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’.

Because of the loss, hotel owner Anne Park was forced to take out loans to keep the business afloat and may now have to sell her home to meet the repayments, the Northumberland Gazette reports.

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

The 72-year-old owner said even after the dishonesty was exposed, Lowery demanded £2,740 in holiday pay and threatened she would take her to a tribunal, and so was forced to pay it.

Ms Park, who said the theft has affected her health, added: ‘What sort of person does that?’

Lowery, of Willow Close, Lesbury, who was a friend as well as an employee at 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.

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

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

The judge said: ‘Threatening your employer with a tribunal 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 additional £20,076 was effectively used to supplement her income and allow her to live well beyond her means.’

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

She told the court: ‘The defendant has no financial means at present to make any repayment but clearly has benefited from her criminal conduct.’

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

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