Accountant facing jail for stealing over £100k from nurseries and blowing the money on bitcoin
An accountant is facing jail after stealing £100,000 from two nurseries and blowing the money on home improvements and bitcoin.
Jane Myhill, 55, siphoned funds from Worcester and Madresfield Early Years Centres – taking a total of £102,000.
She admitted the thefts, which took place between January 2015 and October 2019, at Worcester Magistrates’ Court last week.
The nurseries were run by Myhill’s friend of 20 years Alice Bennett MBE who was battling breast cancer at the time.
Prosecutor Shafquat Reaz said: "A sum of over £100,000 has been stolen from the company accounts. On the facts this is an abuse of trust over a long period."
Bennett said Myhill used the money to invest in bitcoin, purchase luxury goods from upmarket companies and treat herself to a new kitchen.
Myhill, of Cromer, Norfolk, is now facing a possible jail sentence when she is sentenced at Worcester Crown Court next month.
Bennet said she would "never forgive" Myhill, who had been a trusted friend and confidante of more than two decades.
She said: "I feel utterly, utterly betrayed because I was a good employer to her for over 20 years.
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"I looked after her. At the particular time of these thefts I was struggling for my life against breast cancer.
"Just when I needed her the most, when I trusted her, she took advantage the situation horrifically. In my hour of need, when I needed her the most, she betrayed me big time.”
Bennett, 65, opened the Madresfield centre in 1994 and it has received six outstanding Ofsted reports.
The Worcester centre was opened in 2015 on a working dairy farm and received an outstanding Ofsted report in April 2018.
The business employs 120 staff across both centres and 400 families rely on the services they offer.
Myhill’s theft was uncovered after she did not pay a sum of money into the bank after it arrived at the Worcester office.
Forensic accountants were brought in who told Bennett that Myhill had left the "perfect digital footprint of her crimes" on the accounting system.
When confronted with the evidence of her thefts at a later meeting in September 2019, Myhill "admitted everything" which led to her instant dismissal.
Last Thursday, magistrates were told by Myhill's barrister that she intends to pay the money back.
Sean Logan, defending, requested a full pre-sentence report be prepared by the probation service ahead of her next hearing.
He said: "This is a case where she fully intends to repay the sum of money.
"A full report would be helpful due to certain strains that my client has been under in terms of her mental health."
Myhill, formerly of Malvern, Worcestershire, was granted bail until her next hearing on 19 February.
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