A DISGRUNTLED ‘high-flyer’ who tried to steal more than £13,000 from a Huddersfield employment agency has been jailed for six months.
Sarah Syed, a mother-of-one, claimed she had been ‘headhunted’ to join the Jark Industrial employment agency in November, 2008.
But she resigned four months later because she felt dissatisfied with her working conditions.
Syed was recruited on a wage of £25,000 with the prospect of her salary rising to £30,000 after six months.
Bradford Crown Court heard that Syed, of Oldham, tendered her resignation by email, but three days later, in February, 2008, she went into the company’s office early in the morning and took a number of cheques.
Prosecutor Dave Mackay said two cheques totalling almost £6,000 were paid into the account of Syed’s daughter on the same day. A further cheque for just over £3,300 was paid in four days later and Syed presented another cheque for £4,200 later that month.
Syed was arrested over the cheques in April, 2008, and claimed that the company had not been paying her properly and she was owed money in bonuses.
The court heard that in July last year a warrant was issued for Syed’s arrest, but she was not traced until July this year.
Last month Syed admitted four charges of fraud relating the cheques on which she had forged the signature of another employee.
The 32-year-old’s barrister, Tahir Khan, told Judge Jonathan Rose yesterday that Syed had been successful in recruitment consultancy over a number of years and had a good job prior to joining Jark.
“My instructions from her are that she was headhunted amid promises that she would have a good job building a team of recruitment consultants,’’ submitted Mr Khan.
“None of that materialised and her working conditions became difficult to the point where she came to the conclusion that she had no future with Jark.’’
Mr Khan said his client claimed to have been working 60 to 70 hours-a-week and at the time her emotional state was fragile.
“Her behaviour in taking the cheques was wholly unjustified and she accepts that,’’ he told the court.
Judge Rose told Syed that some might describe her as a high-flyer, who had made something of her life and had good employment. But he said the fact that she went back into the office after resigning to take the cheques was the clearest demonstration of premeditation to commit the offences.
Judge Rose said Syed had brought her own daughter into her sordid enterprise and the forging of another employee’s signature raised suspicion that they were involved in her criminality.
“There was only one thief and it was you,’’ he told Syed. “The total amount of cheques wrote out was £13,421.
“That was the loss that you wanted to cause to the complainants.I can only conclude from the mitigation that you did that out of malice, spite and a wish for revenge. The damage caused to employers by people like you is something that you clearly did not consider and it is necessary to deter you and people like you in positions of responsibility from stealing from people who put their trust in you.’’