A sales adviser with a building supplier who paid £6,871 worth of fake customer refunds into her own bank account has been given a suspended prison term and told to repay the full amount.

Samantha Lusty, 42, was working for Bradfords Building Supplies in Ross-on-Wye’s Alton Road when the money was fraudulently transferred between April and October 2021.

She was jailed for six months, suspended for 18 months, after admitting one count of fraud by abuse of position.

Lusty of Beechwood, Ross-on-Wye, was also ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work by Hereford magistrates and ordered to pay full compensation of £6,871, plus court penalties of £313, making £7,184 in total.

Prosecutor Elizabeth Blacklock had previously told the court that she had processed 45 customer refunds, which she presented to her supervisor to sign off and paid into her account.

“Those customers said they did not take any materials back for refunds,” said Miss Blacklock. “She had sent the refunds to her own bank account and then placed records before her supervisor to be signed off when he was busy.”