Hemel woman jailed for stealing more than £2million from her work

A gambling addict who stole more than £2million from the firm she worked for to fund her habit has been jailed.

Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 10th September 2019, 5:00 pm
Joyce Baker was paid 45,000 a year as the Financial Controller of the Light Corporation in Berkhamsted

Joyce Baker admitted fraud by abuse of position at Light Corporation, Berkhamsted after using the cash to gamble online.

She also pleaded guilty to contempt of court for not saying where the assets were.

She was jailed for 5 years and 10 months.

Joyce Baker was paid 45,000 a year as the Financial Controller of the Light Corporation in Berkhamsted

The court heard how Baker, 61, of Briery Way, Hemel Hempstead, stole money within six weeks of starting work at the company in 2012, and continued until she left in June 2018.

Judge Stephen Warner said the “planned dishonesty” was committed “over many years in breach of a high degree of trust”.

He added it was to “feed the scourge of a gambling addiction” and could not justify it.

Prosecutor Walton Hornsby said she siphoned money into her accounts by authorising payments to an unknown supplier.

The Light Corporation makes light fittings for bars, restaurants, hotels, homes and luxury yachts

The court also heard Baker cashed in a £26,000 pension plan by putting it into a concealed bank account.

Only 50p was left after she transferred some to a sister and spent the rest on gambling, a holiday and household expenses.

Outside court the firm’s owner David Caddick, 59, said: “She was manipulative and malicious.

“She hoodwinked us all from the start.

“But, despite her actions, we have got through it and I can’t thank my staff and colleagues enough for the way they responded when it came out what she’d done to us all.”

Where all the money went is still unknown.

Baker refused to tell David or the police if there is any left and where it is.

He added: “To cap it all, when Baker left our employ, she brazenly began proceedings for unfair dismissal against us claiming £30,000 as compensation and offering to drop the case for a

quick settlement.”

A restraining order has been placed on Baker’s marital home to prevent her from selling it.

Defending, Nathalie Carter said: “She had a gambling problem that started slowly. She did not live a lavish lifestyle.”