Northern Ireland news

Woman who admitted stealing over £35,000 from employers avoids jail

Laura McKeown (40) appeared at Belfast Crown Court

A WOMAN who admitted stealing over £35,000 from her employers has avoided being sent to jail.

Laura McKeown (40) appeared at Belfast Crown Court, where she was handed a 10-month sentence suspended for two years.

From Alderley Place in Newtownabbey, she pleaded guilty to defrauding Exchange Place Resource Ltd of £36,680 between October 2018 and February 2021.

McKeown's offending emerged when she wrote a resignation email in which she said she admitted taking money from the company when she knew she shouldn't have.

Following her confession, the company's accounts were analysed and it emerged money had been taken.

Defence barrister Sean Mullan revealed his client had "gathered up some money" to repay her former employers.

Mr Mullan told Judge Patrick Kinney that McKeown was a carer for her father, had a six-year old daughter and her being sent to jail would have a "double impact" on the family.

Judge Kinney said that after reading reports on McKeown, it was clear she had a traumatic childhood. He also noted she admitted what she had done to her employers, had expressed remorse and had no criminal record.

He imposed the suspended sentence and ordered McKeown to pay £2,000 she has raised back.


Northern Ireland news