Leeds doctors’ surgery manager stole almost £15,000

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A pensioner stole almost £15,000 from the doctors’ surgery where she was the practice manager, a court heard.

Lorraine Brown, 66, abused the trust which had been placed in her for many years to carry out the deception while at High Field Surgery, in Adel, Leeds.

Leeds Crown Court heard Brown’s duties included being in charge of paying the salaries of employees at the surgery, including her own,

Mark McKone, prosecuting, told the court Dr John Shaw became concerned in April last year about the amount of salary payments that were being paid.

It was then found that Brown had increased her hourly rate pay from £20.40p per hour to £21.40p per hour. It was further revealed that Brown had made attempts to credit back some of the money to the practice.

She had been due to retire from her job in November last year.

Mr McKone said the total loss to the practice was £14,800

After being suspended from her position she claimed she had been suffering financial problems as her husband had been unwell and they had been unable to pay for their house in Spain.

She also said that she had been looking for another job and wanted future employers to think she had been earning more than she was.

Brown, of Mclaren Fields, Bramley, pleaded guilty to fraud.

Denise Breen-Lawton, mitigating, said Brown had experienced a number of personal tragedies and had suffered mental health problems as a result. She handed a references to the court which described Brown in “glowing terms”.

The barrister said her client would be able to return the money that was illegally obtained from the practice.

Brown was given a 12 month prison sentence, suspended for two years, and ordered to do 180 hours unpaid work.

Judge Neil Clark said: “You were in a position of considerable trust at that surgery. Whatever your situation, there is no excuse for that. You have lost you impeccable reputation.”

PIC: Simon Hulme

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