Office manager jailed following ‘complex’ investigation

Yvonne Herring
Yvonne Herring

Police have reacted to the conviction of a Skegness woman for theft following a long and ‘complex’ investigation.

Yvonne Herring, 78, of Sunningdale Drive, was sentenced to nine months in prison after pleading guilty to theft charges at Lincoln Crown Court on Friday.

Herring had worked for Laver Leisure, a member of the Arnold Laver Group, in Ingoldmells for 19 years up until her dismissal in 2010.

She was arrested on suspicion of theft soon after and there then followed four years of lengthy financial investigation.

In December 2014, she was eventually charged with stealing £121,765 during the period 2006 to 2010.

Throughout the investigation, Herring denied any wrongdoing, but at a hearing in June 2015, she finally pleaded guilty to the offence.

Herring, who was employed as an office manager, was responsible for receiving payments from customers for caravans and ground rents.

The court heard that Herring’s role meant she had sole responsibility for banking for the company, often involving large cash amounts. She used a number of tactics and methods to commit the offences, including offsetting cash payments in a technique known as ‘teeming and lading’. She managed to hide her activities by issuing false receipts and shredding financial records.

Herring’s defence solicitor told the court that Herring suffered from a gambling problem.

Investigating officer, DS Lee St Quinton, from Skegness CID, said: “This was a longwinded and complex financial investigation with police working alongside staff from Laver Leisure to gather evidence. Herring was a long serving, trusted employee of the company, who set up many of the accountancy procedures and processes, using them to her advantage to commit dishonesty over a prolonged period. Her refusal during the enquiry to accept that she had done anything wrong had a profound impact on her employer. As a family business, they place their staff in significant positions of trust and that betrayal deeply affected staff morale and customer confidence yet, even at the time of her sentencing, Laver Leisure were willing to show her compassion”.

Judge Pini told Herring: “I see a complete lack of remorse in you” and sentenced her to 9 months in prison.

A Proceeds of Crime Hearing will take place at a future date.