A former finance officer who took almost stole over £35,000 from Visit Isle of Wight has been spared prison after selling her home to repay the amount stolen.
Trusted Joanne Thornton, 56, who no longer lives on the Isle of Wight l is the wife of the former Visit Isle of Wight chief executive, David Thornton.
The court heared that whilst she was employed by the business as a financial director she stole £34,979.51.
The theft was only uncovered after a new managing director was brought in to run the organisation.
Thornton who appeared the Isle of Wight Crown Court in Monday, she was given a suspected prison sentence of 20 month.
The court further heard that as a result
of the theft a lot of work had to be done to repair the damage caused by Thornton.
Judge David Melville said that the thefts were a serious breach of trust and power despite that fact the monies where used that it to visit her son in sick son in Sheffield who has Aspergers and her mother who has dementia.
Judge Melville took pity on the woman and he ordered her to pay the outstanding amounts back within a week or face six months in prison
He suspended the prison sentance for two years and imposed a three month curfew.
Judge Melville ordered that the full amount be paid back to Visit Isle of Wight within a week, otherwise she would be imprisoned for six months.
Will Myles also had this important message to Wight BID levy payers and Voluntary Contributors Visit Isle of Wight: ‘I continue to assure our Wight BID levy payers that all monies received have been used fully and in the correct manner in line with the Wight BID structure and plans.
‘I have put in place an array of people, processes and policies to ensure that this
situation does not happen again.
‘This day is a line in the sand” and we must move on and do what we are best at,
namely marketing the Isle of Wight and bringing visitors to our shores, which annually accounts for £303 millions of economic impact.
‘Visit Isle of Wight has dealt with this situation, but it was not of our making – it lies firmly at the door of Joanne Thornton, who we trusted, but she stole from the organisation.’