Bookkeeper stole £250k from firm

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A family firm was almost brought to its knees after a crooked bookkeeper helped herself to a quarter of a million pounds from company funds.

Directors were forced to lay off workers and pump more money into the business, unaware that Linda Kearney was writing cheques to herself and family members.

She was said to have left a ‘trail of destruction’ at Access Mechanical Handling in Bellshill.

Kearney (51), of John Muir Way, Motherwell, appeared at Hamilton Sheriff Court last week and admitted embezzling £254,000 from the forklift truck company over a five-and-a-half-year period.

The court heard she started helping herself shortly after joining the firm in 2004 and her crimes went undetected until a discrepancy led to an accountant being asked to investigate in May 2010.

Sheriff David Bicket called for background reports and deferred sentence until August 13. Kearney had her bail continued.

Full story in this week’s Bellshill Speaker and Motherwell Times, out on Wednesday.