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Pregnant Newton Aycliffe mother narrowly avoids jail after conning aunt out of £15,000
A PREGNANT woman narrowly avoided being jailed after admitting stealing £15,000 from her aunt.
Lisa Philips, who is due to give birth in December, was given a four-month suspended sentence when she appeared in Teesside Crown Court.
The 36-year-old even created a fake bank statement in a desperate attempt to hide her dishonesty, the court heard.
The money was transferred last year into an account that Philips had full control of to allegedly keep it safe from Ms Sedgewick’s Turkish boyfriend at the time - but the mother-of-one used the money to pay off her own debts.
On two separate occasions Ms Sedgewick requested money totalling £300, which she was given from the account by Philips, but no receipts were ever produced.
She became suspicious when repeated requests to see statements for the account were met with excuses by Philips.
Philips, of Langdale Place, Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, admitted the theft of £14,700 and told police she had used some of the money to buy an Xbox games console and a £2,000 flat screen television.
Rebecca Stephenson, mitigating, said: “She’s deeply ashamed of her actions, Lisa Philips is ashamed of the position she found herself in today and she has lost a great deal on a personal level, with family members and the breakdown of her relationship with her partner who she is currently pregnant to.”
Sentencing Philips, Judge Peter Armstrong said: “Your initial concern about your aunt’s partner may well have been well motivated but you went on and did the thing that you were concerned about.
“The temptation for you was too great as you plundered the money to pay off your debts.”
Explaining the reasoning behind the suspended sentence, he added: “It is of great benefit to the community and your victim that you continue your studies to get qualifications for work as then you will be able to repay her what you owe.”
As well as the four-month sentence, suspended for two years, she was given a 12-month supervision order and an additional one month suspended sentence for obstructing a police officer.
A proceeds of crime act order was issued against Philips in an attempt to recoup some of the money she stole by forcing her to sell the flat screen television and games console.
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