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Mum who stole £87k from work walks free

PUBLISHED: 11:05 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 10:42 23 August 2010

SPARED JAIL: Donna Geer covers her face upon leaving Maidstone Crown Court.

SPARED JAIL: Donna Geer covers her face upon leaving Maidstone Crown Court.

A MOTHER-OF-THREE who stole more than £87,000 from a family-owned cleaning company has walked free from court. Donna Geer, 40, of North Road, Cliffe, was given a 12 month suspended jail sentence and 200 hours of community service when she was sentenced a

A MOTHER-OF-THREE who stole more than £87,000 from a family-owned cleaning company has walked free from court.

Donna Geer, 40, of North Road, Cliffe, was given a 12 month suspended jail sentence and 200 hours of community service when she was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Tuesday.

A former employee of Monitor Cleaning Services based in Grove Road, Northfleet, Mrs Geer, who worked as an accounts clerk during two years at the company, covered her face in shame as she left court.

Through her work in the accounts department, the court heard between July 2006 and when she was made redundant in September 2008 she made 40 payments of company money into a bank account she had set up, totalling £87,165.

Sentencing Mrs Geer, Judge Griffith-Jones said: "These, on any view, are very serious offences indeed.

"You were given full responsibility for an important section of this relatively small family business.

"Your calculated plundering of monies from your employer's business continued right through to the few days prior to you leaving in September 2008.

"In your case I accept some significant mitigation, the fact that you have pleaded guilty, moreover you have shown remorse which I accept is genuine."

Mrs Geer had pleaded guilty to seven charges of theft, but also had 33 other offences taken into account.

She started work at Monitor Cleaning Services in May 2006, and her offending began just two months later. In 2007, the company suffered financial losses and were forced to make redundancies.

After Mrs Geer left, the person who took over her role noticed some irregularities, and the police were called in to investigate. The court heard that Mrs Geer was using the money to pay for upgrades to her house, and to fund her husband's "extravagant" lifestyle.

Judge Griffith Jones added: "I am influenced by the fact that a custodial sentence would have a devastating effect not just on you, but also on your family, most particularly your children.

"You have escaped an immediate custodial sentence by the skin of your teeth and I ask you to recognise the chance I am giving you."

Outside court, Mrs Geer refused to comment, but a friend said: "Donna totally regrets her actions.

"She is very sorry to the company for what she has done and she is sorry to her colleagues that she used to work with at Monitor."

Mrs Geer's 12 month sentence is suspended for two years and she was not ordered to pay costs.

Monitor Cleaning Services refused to comment on the verdict.

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