An accountant who stole £55,000 from her bosses at Carphone Warehouse to buy handbags and pay off her mortgage has been jailed for nine months.
Marcia Johnson, 35, of Lannock Road, Hayes, paid her self an average of £4,000 extra a month in wages after falling into debt when her partner was made redundant.
Her fraud was finally spotted in July this year and she was arrested at work at her office in Acton, west London.
Johnson, who started working for the company in January last year as an accounts payable assistant, told police she had bought clothes and handbags with the cash.
She said most of it went towards paying off her credit cards and mortgage but later claimed it had also paid for her boyfriend's expensive cocaine habit.
The Common Serjeant of London, Judge Brian Barker QC said: 'In October 2007 you started a course of fraud which was planned and continuous.
'In the course of that time you obtained just over £55,000 in 15 separate transactions.
'This was a clear breach of trust and you diverted the money into your own account. This works out at about £4,000 a month which you were obtaining in addition to your salary.
'The system was eventually spotted and you were arrested.
'The explanation given was that you wished to pay off some mortgage arrears, your partner became redundant, there was a shortfall in the account and he also had a considerable cocaine habit.
'You admitted you had been spending money on clothes and handbags.
'You somehow felt by doing this you would regain control of your life.
'You have never sought help, you haven't told your family, you haven't told your partner about your sacking or this case.
'Your life at the moment is in ruins and must be addressed. You are still someone who has not faced up to reality.
'What has to happen is there has got to be a change, and a change from you.
'I hope very much you will seek proper help to sort out your life on your release.'
Johnson admitted five counts of fraud between January 14 and July 14 this year and asked for 11 similar offences to be taken into consideration.
She was sentenced to nine months imprisonment concurrent on each count at the Old Bailey yesterday (Thur).
Larry Mathews, mitigating for Johnson, said: 'She did not obtain these funds in order to enrich herself or provide herself with a lifestyle.
'She did indicate to police she had spent the money on herself and she had become greedy. But part of the money was given to her partner to fund his drug habit.
'The onset of her offending corresponded with her long term partner being made redundant and at the same time his drug habit increased very considerably.'
The court heard Johnson's partner spent his £30,000 redundancy payoff on drugs.