A LETTINGS manager has pleaded guilty to defrauding a Chester estate agents over a period of more than four years.

Wendy Dare, 57, of Southport Road, Scarisbrick, Southport, pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by abuse of position when she appeared at Chester Magistrates Court on Tuesday, February 7.

But a court hearing will take place after the prosecution and defence disputed the total sum Dare was said to have defrauded the company, Humphreys Estate Agents in Chester.

Prosecuting, Michael O'Kane said the offences took place between February 2, 2016 and December 31, 2020, when Dare was a lettings manager.

The court heard she "acted in a position of trust and responsibility" but abused her position to make financial gains for herself and members of her family.

One of the charges was that Dare inputted 65 false landlord payments, totalling £28,506, to cover rental payments for her daughters.

The total sum of the fraud, the prosecution say, was about £140,000.

But Peter Barnett, defending Dare, said there was a "substantive dispute over the sums involved".

Dare had repaid £36,000 before her arrest, and had believed that was the total sum to repay.

The defence said it would be necessary for the details of the accounts to be examined forensically.

A case management hearing will be heard before the District Judge, ahead of a potential, so-called 'Newton hearing', which would resolve the facts of the case.

Dare is expected to be sentenced at Chester Crown Court at a future date.