A THIEVING employee stole more than £112,000 from her bosses to pay her debts and fund a well-to-do lifestyle.

Gail Perry syphoned off a total of £112,227.35 from Exceptional Ideas over four years.

The fraud began when the 44-year-old had been working at the education firm, based in Swan Street, Hedingham, for just six weeks.

Perry, of Springfields, in Braintree, was working as an administrator and PA at the time of the offences, between April 2011 and May 2015.

Her role meant she was often tasked with paying invoices sent to the company.

Kathy Bates, prosecuting, told Colchester Magistrates’ Court yesterday Perry approached the company directors on 45 separate occasions with either blank or partially completed cheques for their signatures.

But instead of paying official invoices, the cheques - which she filled in herself - were paid into either her own bank account or her partner’s.

On some occasions, money was paid straight into accounts which the couple had debts with.

Mrs Bates added: “This is a case where there was a significant breach of trust.

“The couple’s finances had taken a knock after her partner had to take time off and returned to a lower paid job.

“Their lifestyle did not diminish when her partner was out of work or in lower paid employment.”

Perry admitted concealing, disguising or transferring criminal property and fraud by false representation when she appeared calmly in the dock yesterday.

Magistrates heard Perry admitted to the charges because she “wants to confront and deal” with the case and eventually “put it behind her as best she can”.

Recently-married Perry, who was planning a honeymoon, was told she will be sentenced at Chelmsford Crown Court next month because magistrates’ powers are not strong enough.

She was warned to expect “a significant custodial sentence”.

Perry was released on bail and ordered to reside at her Braintree address.