The office manager of security firm who stole £20,000 from her employers walked free from court.
Lynn Barrow wept and hugged a male companion after leaving court with a suspended sentence hanging over her for two years.
Barrow, 48, was told by a judge: “This theft was a breach of a high level of trust.”
But Judge Brian Cummings, QC, told her that her previous good character and her guilty plea meant he felt able to suspend a ten month jail sentence.
Barrow, of Bury Lane, Withnell, Chorley, had pleaded guilty to stealing the cash belonging to Wigan-based Radius Security Ltd between December 1, 2014 and July 7 last year.
Liverpool Crown Court heard that her job involved her making cash payments which meant she had access to the firm’s safe.
She began stealing cash which came to light when she and the firm “were parting ways” and she was offered a settlement figure at the end on last June.
“You agreed so readily that it attracted the suspicion of the manager which led to him wanting a reconciliation to be carried out of the safe,” said Judge Cummings.
When confronted she became upset and admitted what she had done.
The judge said that he accepted “in general terms” that a man had taken advantage of her emotional vulnerability last year and he persuaded her to part with her own money.
The man, referred to only as Mr Blye, later found out she had access to the company safe and he “encouraged and persuaded her” to take cash for his benefit, initially for a spurious investment opportunity and later by saying he was in trouble and at risk of violence and needed money to save him.”
Judge Cummings ordered blonde haired Barrow to carry out 80 hours unpaid work and to attend 20 days probation rehabilitation course.
Defence barrister Marianne Alton, representing Barrow, told the court that her client had been suffering from depression following the break-up of her marriage and was very vulnerable.