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Jailed court employee stole to keep 'boyfriend interested'

Thu, 15 Oct 2015


Deliberate, planned and persistent - that's how a Deemster has described the actions of a court employee who stole almost £98,000. 

Between December 2014 and July this year corporate service manager Katrina Surridge stole cash and cheques from the Isle of Man Courts of Justice.
 
Responsible for the daily banking of payments taken at the public counter she withheld cheques from the system, amended documentation, and removed the equivalent amount in cash for herself.
 
Her deceit was discovered when a colleague tried to retrieve a cheque which had been filed in error - an internal audit was carried out which showed discrepancies totalling over £97,770. 
 
Police arrested the Ramsey woman who told them she'd stolen the money to fund a cocaine habit and because she needed to keep her younger boyfriend "interested in her". 
 
The 49-year-old pleaded guilty to theft, false accounting and falsifying records - she also admitted stealing £175 from the staff Christmas fund. 
 
At Douglas Courthouse yesterday her advocate said it was a "very sad case" and Surridge had no one else to blame after failing to appreciate the "consequences of her actions". 
 
Sentencing her to two years in prison Deemster Birkett said the offences, carried out when she was in a position of trust, were so serious there were no grounds to suspend the sentence.
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