Published: 07:59, 12 October 2018
| Updated: 08:43, 12 October 2018
A social club treasurer who stole £15,000 from her employer narrowly escaped jail after writing to a judge to tell of her shame.
Mother Kelly Stevens had defrauded the British Rail Social Club in Beaver Road, Ashford, to fund her gambling addiction.
But the 38-year-old, of Chartwell Road, Kingsnorth, managed to escape an immediate jail sentence at Canterbury Crown Court after telling the judge, Recorder Stuart Trimmer QC, how remorseful she was.
The judge told her: "I have read your letter and all the documents relating to you and it is perfectly clear that you are absolutely ashamed of what you did.
“You wish you could turn back the clocks - sadly you can’t, but I am impressed by your letter and your plain remorse.
“You tried to get out of it by gambling more and more but you couldn’t. These companies always win."
It was revealed at an earlier hearing at Folkestone Magistrates' Court how Stevens siphoned off the cash between October 2017 and January 2018, and manipulated the ledger to cover her tracks.
She pleaded guilty to 'theft by employer' and was sent to Canterbury Crown Court where she received a six-month jail sentence suspended for a year.
Prosecutor James Nichols told the earlier hearing: “Mrs Stevens was in a position of trust, she was the treasurer, her job was taking and banking the social club’s money.
“An audit revealed she had been taking money for three months or so, this included Christmas funds, as well as some saved for maintenance.
“She deliberately changed the records, the theft put the social club back financially for five years.”
He added Stevens admitted in police interview she stole the money to fund a gambling addiction, which knocked back the company by five years.