Northampton

Fawsley hotel fraudster who conned wedding couple spared jail

Fawsley Hall
Image caption Jayne Harper was working as a manager at Fawsley Hall in 2011 when she took the money

A woman who conned a couple out of their £9,000 wedding deposit to fund her gambling habit has been spared jail after returning the money.

Jayne Harper was working at Fawsley Hall, Northamptonshire, when she banked the deposit in her own account.

Harper, 55, of Main Street, Holcot, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud

She was handed a 12 month suspended sentence and ordered to carry out 200 hours in unpaid work at Northampton Crown Court.

The court heard how the couple became suspicious after not receiving much correspondence about their 2011 wedding.

They contacted the venue and did not have a booking for the date they had reserved, and reported the matter to the police.

'Mean offence'

The second charge of fraud related to more than £3,000 of wine which Harper had accepted but not paid for.

The court heard Harper had taken a role as business development manager at Fawsley Hall without disclosing a previous jail term for fraud, which exceeded £1m.

The judge referred to the taking of the money as a "mean offence".

However, he said incidents which had happened in her life, which were not explained to the court, had a significant impact on her.

The judge said the fact that she had repaid the money had helped her to decide to suspend the sentence.

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