A YOUNG finance manager has been jailed for stealing more than £320,000 from her Ellesmere Port employer.

Sian Mclear-Dyer, 29, transferred the cash into her own bank accounts over a period of two and a half years while working for Total Conveyancing Services (TCS).

The mother-of-one was in charge of a team of six cashiers who handled transactions of £10m to £15m every day.

Chester Crown Court heard on Monday (February 11) that she gambled away all of the stolen money, unbeknownst to her husband whom she married in September 2017.

Mclear-Dyer, who was earning £29,000 a year and has no previous convictions, took the cash between March 2015 and November 2017.

The company eventually picked up on irregularities and dismissed her following an investigation. She was arrested and made full admissions to the police.

Her defence barrister, Trevor Parry-Jones, urged Judge Patrick Thompson to suspend the inevitable prison sentence, for the sake of her young child.

But the judge told a tearful Mclear-Dyer that her sentence of two years and eight months must be served immediately, saying: “You frittered away all this money. It can never be repaid.”

Jo Maxwell, prosecuting, said the scale of the fraud had escalated throughout the time the defendant worked at the company.

From March 3, 2015, until the end of that year, she took £2,902 spread over 17 transactions. But in 2016 she stole £101,984 in 113 transactions.

Finally, she took a staggering £218,642 across 99 transactions in 2017 meaning that in total, Mclear-Dyer stole £323, 528.

Miss Maxwell told the court: “She said she stole the money to fund a gambling addiction that she had succumbed to and that she had intended to repay the money with her winnings.”

The barrister also told the court that bank statements showed a sum of money was used to pay towards the defendant’s wedding.

Mr Parry-Jones, defending, said his client had been employed by TCS at the age of around 24 and had resorted to stealing due to her addiction, which he described as a “mental disorder”.

Referring to the amount she managed to steal, he added: “It’s surprising that this could take place in this computer age.”

He said she had voluntarily sought help for her gambling with Beacon Counselling Trust and had lost her car and home.

“Her husband was utterly unaware of what she was doing,” Mr Parry-Jones said. “Her gambling ruled her life, but she hid it so well.”

He also stressed that this was not a case of someone spending stolen money on a lavish lifestyle of holidays and expensive cars.

Personal references sent to the court described her in glowing terms, as a “decent and well-loved person”.

Mclear-Dyer, of Leasowe Road, Wallasey, Wirral, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud. She will spend half of her prison sentence in custody and half in the community on licence.