Welwyn Garden City Tesco fraudster

A HIGHLY-PAID business systems analyst for supermarket giant Tesco has been jailed for stealing nearly �30,000 on her company credit card.

Carol Bowerman sobbed as she was led from the dock to the cells, after a judge told her many people would give their eye teeth to earn her �50,000 salary.

The 35-year-old spent the money on holidays to Japan, New York and Prague, and on Sky subscriptions, petrol and to clear her debts, St Albans Crown Court heard.

Helena Lewar, prosecuting, said Bowerman took a total of �29,323.17 between May 2007 – two months after she had started working at Tesco’s head office in Shire Park – and May 2010.

“She had been given the company credit card for her use on company business to pay her expenses,” the prosecutor said.

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“At the beginning of her employment she was in debt and she came to an informal arrangement with her line manager that she would use the card for her own expenses and repay by cheque.”

Although one payment was made back, a total of �25,700.27 was withdrawn by Bowerman in cash and she spent another �3,500 on her own goods and expenses.

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“What started as small amounts escalated over the three years,” Ms Lewar said.

She added Bowerman made no attempt to conceal the thefts with paperwork and was found out by Tesco’s internal auditors.

Married Bowerman, now of Marble Street, Oldham, pleaded guilty to theft.

Dominic Lewis, defending, said she had paid back �21,000 – �18,000 was in a loan from her parents and �3,000 came from her new job.

He said Bowerman intended to repay the rest of the amount.

Mr Lewis added: “She was very bad at managing money.”

Jailing her for a year on Tuesday last week, Judge Martin Griffith said: “You abused your employer’s trust and their relaxed accounting system.

“In the period you were employed there your gross earnings were �155,000 – many people would give their eye teeth to be receiving that salary.”

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