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Birth in jail for fraud woman; MATCHBOROUGH: No mercy on mum-to-be in pounds 45,000 fiddle.

Byline: By Paul Bradley

A MOTHER-TO-BE who took more than pounds 45,000 from her bosses in less than 18 months will give birth to her first child behind bars.

Appeal judges rejected an application for mercy by Tracy Dawn Cook, 33, of Frankton Close, Matchborough, Redditch, was locked up last October after admitting salting the cash away into her own bank account from the television shopping company where she worked.

She was jailed for 21 months by Worcester Crown Court after she pleaded guilty to making false representations and obtaining money transfers by deception.

Cook's legal team launched an appeal in the hope she would be freed in time to have her child in three months' time.

But, at London's Criminal Appeal Court, she was told that her sentence was "perfectly fair".

Mr Justice Davis, who sat with Lord Justice Thomas and Mr Justice David Clarke, said Cook's breach of her employers' trust and the seriousness of her offences meant no less than 21 months would suffice.

Cook had worked in the accounts department of television shopping company, Gems TV, and made regular money transfers from the company into her own accounts.

Between January 2006 and May 2007, she took more than pounds 45,000, before being caught out by the company's auditing department, the court heard.

"This was a fraud which lasted a very significant period of time and very significant sums were taken," he said.

"All this was done by a woman with her eyes wide open and in serious breach of trust.

"We do not think the sentence of 21 months' imprisonment can be said to be excessive and, accordingly, this appeal is dismissed."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:Jan 28, 2008
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