AN agent for a door-to-door loan company made a fraudulent application for £1,000 in the name of a regular customer, a court heard.

Melanie Agatha forged the customer’s signature on the bogus application, but the client never received the cash.

When suspicion fell on Agatha she denied knowledge of the loan, but was ultimately sacked by her employer, Morses Club Ltd.

Durham Crown Court was told following her dismissal she was expected to hand back a work tablet and a float, of £2,273, but, although she later claimed a member of staff had collected them from her, the company did not receive either.

Months later the tablet was traced to a residential address a mile-and-a-half from Agatha’s home, with all the previous entries wiped clean.

Agatha, who was arrested over the missing £1,000 loan, the tablet and the £2,273 float, denied stealing either the money or the computer device belonging to Morses.

The defendant, 42, of Delamere Drive, Marske, was charged with fraud by abuse of position, and theft of the float and tablet, on or before May 24, 2018.

She denied both charges but was convicted on the third day of her trial this week.

Joe Hedworth, prosecuting, told the trial jury: “This all boils down to one fundamental issue, whether or not she has told the truth.

“I suggest she has told a pack of lies.

“The company witnesses were all credible, giving straightforward evidence.

“A false loan was set up in the customer’s name, but not signed for or received.”

Mr Hedworth said, following her dismissal she then came up with various explanations for her failure to hand back the float or tablet, all of which were, “a smoke screen” to cover her theft.

Following unanimous jury verdicts, Paul Cross, for Agatha, told the court: “Obviously this conviction means she loses her hitherto good name and won’t be able to work in the financial sector again.”

The court heard at the time of the offences, in 2017, she was suffering with mental health issues and had poor recollection of her actions.

Imposing a 12-month community order, with 30 probation-led activity days to attend, Judge James Adkin told her: “They were foolish charges to fight because you had no great memory of the circumstances at that time.”