By Matt Hunter: An office manager who went on a £38,000 shopping spree on the company debit card was spared jail because the judge 'hates sending women to prison.'
Sophie Franklin, 30, helped herself to the cash when working for Circle Square Agency based in Bermondsey, southeast London.
Between January 2014 and August 2016 she used the company card to splash out on designer clothes, make-up, sunglasses for her and her friends.
She spent £7,000 on taxis and ran up huge hotel and mobile phone bills under her bosses noses.
Franklin sobbed in the dock at Inner London Crown Court as Judge Owen Davies, QC, adjourned sentence and said: 'I hate sending to prison women who have not been to prison before.'She was employed as an office manager at the Circle Square advertising agency and began to use the business debit card to withdraw £37,997.
Prosecutor Bill McGivern said: 'This defendant was an office manager at Circle Square between 13 January, 2014 to 20 February, 2016.
'Her responsibilities included booking travel and accommodation, buying office supplies, signing off expenses for mobile phone bills.
'She was the personal assistant to the managing directors of the company and had access to several business cards and accounts.
'This was a relatively small company and she was on a position of some trust, because of that trust nothing was suspected.
Mr McGivern said it was only when she left the company that her 'wholesale fraud' became apparent.
'She ran up bills for taxis for over £7,000,' she said.
'Other expenses on travel, mobile phone bills, hotels, other purchases, coffees, shopping.'
Franklin controlled and manipulated invoices and receipts, the court heard.
Her deceit was not discovered until she had left that position and the new manager did an audit.
The sustained 'breach of trust and responsibility' over had a 'substantial' financial effect on the company, Mr McGivern said.
'There was clearly an impact and loss of some degree,' he said.
Franklin, who has no previous convictions, was arrested on 26 August last year and gave a 'no comment' interview.
Robert Dacre, defending, said that it was 'out of character'.
'She has an honest, genuine remorse and shame,' he said.
Mr Dacre said Franklin left Circle Square as she 'wanted to stop this behaviour'.
Franklin is paying the sum and legal cost back every month from her £2,000 salary, the court heard.
Circle Square provide shops and retail stores with displays and promotional campaigns.