A great-grandmother has told of her “betrayal” after the shamed manager of a travel agency pocketed cash she handed over for a fairytale holiday to Germany to celebrate her husband’s retirement.
Paul Ford, 48, is facing a jail term after admitting a string of thefts of cash from the Tanzo-go agency in Preston, where he had worked for around 11 years.
The thefts came to light on December 12 last year when he took cash from his long-term customer Barbara Munsi-Harvey, 64, for a holiday booking, but only put £300 through the accounts.
Barbara, who lives in Moor Nook, Preston, was horrified when the firm contacted her to ask for the “remaining” cash.
She said: “It’s been horrible, it’s made me ill.
“I thought Paul was our friend because we had been going to him for so long, he was always nice to us and used to find us the biggest discounts. I couldn’t believe it.
“My husband decided to retire early from his truck driver job and we decided to go away. It was a trip to ‘Fairytale Germany.’
“Paul had said he would give us a receipt later and I didn’t pester him because I knew it was Christmas and they were busy.
“I feel betrayed.
“It’s like he has stabbed us in the back.”
She added: “Somehow the travel agency has found the money to honour the booking and luckily we are still able to go.”
When Ford was investigated for the discrepancy, it was discovered that more than £6,200 had gone missing from the travel company between April and December 2013.
During an appearance at Preston Magistrates Court, Ford admitted stealing £404.92 on April 27, 2013.
A further £978.63 was stolen on June 8.
The largest theft was on June 22 when he helped himself to £3,438.85
A week later, on June 29, he stole £57.35 from the firm.
On December 12 he took £1,207 and pocketed a further £131.41 on December 21.
Ford, of Beechwood Row, Leeds, will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on July 15.