An accountant who stole £350,000 has been spared jail as she is ‘not the general stuff of which the prison population is made’, according to a judge.
Natalie Saul, 37, skimmed money from the accounts of technology firm Idio in London, where she worked.
She used the money to fund her gambling habit, and lost £250,000 playing online poker.
The mother-of-one was caught submitting more than 400 fake invoices between March 2015 and December 2016 after she went on maternity leave and the new CFO spotted the discrepancies.
Despite the massive sum of money, Saul was handed a two-year suspended sentence and 250 hours of unpaid work by Judge Catherine Newman, QC.
The Judge even admitted that the sentence was ‘wholly exceptional’, and that there is risk ‘the Crown will think it lenient and appeal, but it’s a risk I’m willing to take’.
She also said she had considerd giving Saul a sentence of three years and four months.
The court heard how Saul had been ‘shaken’ by the recent death of her grandmother and that the theft was ‘out of character’ for the accountant.
As well as the suspended sentence and unpaid work she was ordered to pay £360 costs, which is slightly over £10 for every £1,000 she stole.