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Weardale railway thief admits stealing from classic car firm
A FORMER accounts manager who defrauded a heritage railway of more than £36,000 has also admitted stealing a further £21,000 from a classic car firm.
Corina Elaine Heslop is due at Durham Crown Court tomorrow for sentencing after a jury found her guilty in June of eight counts of defrauding her then employer British American Railways, who run the Weardale Railway, in County Durham.
And the 42-year-old, from Bishop Auckland , appeared before magistrates again yesterday, where she pleaded guilty to three charges of stealing from another employer, Simon J Robinson’s Classic Car garage, in Darlington.
The latest charges date from between October 6 last year and March 22 when she was employed as a secretary responsible for paying out salaries.
Heslop, who gave her address as Rookhope Grove, although she has been in custody since the end of her trial, admitted stealing £15,532.27 from the car dealer through electronic transfer and a further £5,500 in cash from the garage, in Durham Road.
John Garside, prosecuting, told magistrates in Newton Aycliffe that Heslop got a job at the garage under the name of Corina Smith and her duties had included being responsible for the company’s payroll.
He said the theft was of such a high value that the magistrates’ powers, which are restricted to a maximum prison sentence of six months, are not strong enough to deal with the case.
After the hearing, Mr Robinson declined to comment until after Heslop has been sentenced.
Mr Robinson has been selling classic cars including sports models such as MGs, Jaguars and Austin Healys for more than 30 years.
Heslop has already been warned she faces a lengthy prison sentence due to her defrauding of the railway and the thefts from Robinson’s dealership will also be added in to her sentencing exercise tomorrow.
Tomorrow’s hearing will also see her sentenced for a previous conviction of benefit fraud in which she obtained £70,000 in housing benefit over an eight-year period by falsifying a document purporting that she was tenant at the house she actually owns.