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Shropshire family firm’s heartbreak over £122,000 fraud by trusted worker

By Jonny Drury | Minsterley | Crime | Published:

A family construction company which was defrauded out of £122,000 by its own accounts manager has said it will take until 2044 to put the company right.

Ann Jones and her son Craig Smith have both been locked up

Ann Jones of Heritage Way, Llanymynech, was jailed on Friday for two years and eight months, for defrauding the money from Jim Dorricott Construction Ltd, of Minsterley, near Shrewsbury.

Her son, Craig Smith, was also put behind bars for acquiring £38,000 of the money, some coming in a salary from his mother, to fund alcohol, drugs and gambling addictions.

After the case the Dorricott family, who were emotional as the sentence was passed, were pleased the pair have been given custodial sentences.

Shaun Dorricott, speaking on behalf of the family, explained the affect the ordeal is still having on the family and the business.

He said: “When we found out Ann Jones had been stealing money from us, my father could not believe it.

“It has put an enormous effect on the business and I believe the growth of business has been stalled substantially as a result.

“I also believe that she put jobs and livelihoods of all our employees at risk.

“We are still finding items that she has hidden in the accounts on a day-to-day basis.

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“She has reconciliation files in the accounts that date right up to 2044, so it will keep causing problems until the year 2044.”

After the women who previously ran the accounts left, the Minsterley-based company, which was founded in 1984, appointed Jones in March 2013.

However within months of her taking the post, she began falsifying invoices and directing money from the company accounts into her son’s account.

In a statement, Mr Dorricott said he joked they were paying their accounts manager too much when she turned up for work in a new car but the comment “did not go down well”.

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Mrs Samantha Powis, for Jones, told the court the car was funded by her pension.

Mr Dorricott added: “She was a valuable member of our team and my father looked after her as he did the rest of the family.”

He said the company was now starting to recover, as the Dorricott family and their staff repair the damage done.

Mr Dorricott’s wife has quit her job in a special school to learn the books and the family is working nights and weekends to put things right, he added.

Jonny Drury

By Jonny Drury
@JonnyDrury_Star

Senior reporter covering Oswestry and Mid Wales.

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