A pregnant bookkeeper has been spared giving birth in jail - after carrying out a £30,000 fraud.
Katie Stevens, of Bond Road, Gillingham was due to go into labour at the end of this month.
But now she's facing the birth under curfew... instead of behind bars!
Stevens claimed she stole money after finding out her cheating husband had fathered a child by another woman.
She was said to have moved money into her account in an effort to save her marriage and put her financial affairs in order.
But a judge has told her...”That’s no excuse!”
Canterbury Crown Court today heard the 32-year-old took money from Home Farm Nursery School, in Tenterden, and used the accounts of a company called Master Hydraulics to conceal her activities.
Stevens had admitted two counts of fraud and was given a 12-month jail sentence suspended for two years and ordered to do 180 hours of unpaid work.
She is due to give birth later this month – and will still be subjected to a four month 8pm to 7am curfew order.
Judge Michael O’Sullivan told her: “This case involves fraud when in a position of trust. I note what you said about marital breakdown and financial difficulties but that is no excuse for acting in a devious and dishonest way.
“Home Farm place its trust in your integrity and you abused their trust. I accept you are remorseful and you are about to give birth to a child and that you have a four year old son who needs your care.
“I have suspended the sentence to ensure every pound you have stolen from Home Farm is paid back. Y ou have been thoroughly dishonest and you are lucky not to lose your liberty.”
At an earlier hearing, Trevor Wright, defending, described Stevens finding out about her husband having a two-year-old child with another woman as “a bombshell”.
He said: "You can only imagine what the effects of that can be. The husband moved out of the marital home and makes no contributions toward it."
Mr Wright said this meant Stevens was left with the couple's four-year-old son and facing repossession proceedings for their home.
"She describes herself as devastated and I’m tempted to say that is an understatement," he added.
"What she did then was a pathetic and futile way to save her marriage. She knew it was going to be discovered and there was never the least prospect of the marriage being saved.
"They were struggling when this bombshell was dropped and she wanted to keep her financial head above water.
"It was a course of action which defies understanding because it was inevitable that she would be found out."
Later, Stevens’s estranged husband Gary, 34, hit back at her claims about their marriage causing the fraud and said: "She's got away lightly with it."
Mr Stevens, an HGV driver, was married to Katie Stevens for 10 years and they lived together in Fir Tree Lane, Lordswood, before separating.
Now of Cormorant Road, Iwade, near Sittingbourne, he said he was angry after his wife gave the affair prominence in the courts.
He said: "I’ve been dragged into something that was nothing to do with me, to be honest. I’m not happy with it.
"She stole the money. The money was nothing to do with me."