Saturday 19th November 2011 The Northern Echo, By Bruce Unwin
A THIEVING market manager tried to cover up stealing from her employer by blaming a colleague and dragging her elderly grandmother into the dispute, a court heard yesterday.
Joanne Price, former manager of Durham Markets Company, told police a mysterious £5,000 deposit into her bank account was a gift from her grandmother to help her buy a house, Durham Crown Court heard.
In fact, it was rent stolen from market traders.
The attempted cover-up led to her grandmother being forced to deny the claim to police.
Later, Price suggested a workmate might have stolen rent and persuaded traders to lie to the police.
The 38-year-old was very confused, is now being treated for depression, could not say where the money went and had nothing left, Yvonne Taylor, mitigating, said.
But Judge Guy Whitburn said he believed Price knew where the money was.
Price, of Newshouse Road, Esh Winning, County Durham, was manager of Durham Markets Company, which runs Durham’s award-winning indoor market, for more than ten years.
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