A company director who embezzled more than £66,000 to feed her internet gambling habit avoided jail yesterday.
Carly Flockhart had debts of £120,000 but at Inverness Sheriff Court she was ordered to repay £20,000, ordered to carry out 200 hours community service and placed probation for three years.
Flockhart appeared for sentence after numerous deferrals for additional information.
Sheriff David Sutherland wanted to discover how much Flockhart’s third share of the business was worth before it was sold back for £100 by a trustee appointed to administer her financial affairs.
Flockhart of 1b Dores Road, Inverness who lives with her father and stepmother having lost the house she owned to help pay off some of her debt, earns £1,000 a month from tax credits and her income as a waitress.
The court also heard that the trustee still had £20,000 of debts to clear on her behalf.
She refused to comment as she left court. But one of her fellow directors, Alan Walker said he was “very disappointed” by the outcome.
He said: “I am out of pocket by a lot more than £20,000 and I am still working like a beggar. I went without pay for almost a year to keep the business afloat.
“I feel very betrayed.”
Flockhart admitted taking £66,514 from her business partners at WC Supplies in Harbour Road, Inverness, between January 1, 2009, and December 31 the following year while she was company secretary and in charge of sales.
The court was told the offence was committed to fund her online gambling habit.
Marc Dickson, defence lawyer for the 30 year old single mother, told the court that a psychological report showed that Flockhart was suffering from a mental illness at the time of the offence.
He added: “It was a period of emotional turmoil in her life and it got out of hand. The trustee informs me she is still £20,000 in debt and that is being paid off weekly.”
At a previous hearing, fiscal depute Karen Smith said: “This was not an elaborate plan where false records were kept. She was paying money into her own account and raising false invoices to cover that amount.”
Defence agent Marc Dickson said: “She worked very hard to develop the business but unfortunately she was beset by a number of personal difficulties.
“She suffered from post natal depression and in 2007 her partner and father of her son drowned at sea. My client turned to gambling and the psychiatrist who compiled today’s report said she found solace in the excitement of online gambling.
“Her debts to the gambling company exceeded £120,000 and she took money from her company with the intention of repaying it. She occasionally made some payments which masked what she had taken out.”