Company owner describes scale of deceit by "female Walter Mitty" as "breathtaking"

Darlington and Stockton Times: Sarah Baldwin Sarah Baldwin

THE boss of the company ripped off by crooked Sarah Baldwin tonight told how the "smiling assassin" almost single-handedly ruined his business.

Steve Berry, general manager of Alms Valve Agency, said Baldwin was “a female Walter Mitty” and described the scale of her deceit as "breathtaking".

Baldwin immediately called in sick when the firm appointed an accountant in May last year - as she feared he would uncover her thieving.

Mr Berry said the industrial plumbing supplies company, which was based in Ripon, had only been able to remain afloat after he agreed to pay £8,500 of his own money and sold some of his shares in the firm.

“It beggars belief that someone would do that to a start-up firm within four weeks of being given a job, and carry on as normal," he said.

“We made so many allowances, giving her as much flexibility as she asked for, to enable her to work for us. Not only was the knife put in, but it was really turned.

"She was smiling at you while pushing the knife blade into your heart. She single-handedly brought the fledgling company to the edge of a cliff.

“We lost £100,000 and the kick-back has had many effects, at the time it crippled the company. Getting money from the bank and suppliers was tremendously affected, the cost of our borrowing has gone up.

“At the time I tendered my resignation to the parent company in Germany as I considered it a failure on my part, but more than a year later we have been able to take on staff and are now looking to expand.”

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