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Divorced mum sobs as she's jailed for 6 months over €22k cheque fraud

A MOTHER-of-two who defrauded a bank out of €22,000 to pay her household debts broke down in court after being jailed for six months.

Andrea Newsome (38) lodged a cheque she could not honour into one of her bank accounts and withdrew it to pay off what she owed.

A court heard she paid off her €18,000 debt but spent the rest of the money.

She had separated from her husband and had been accustomed to a better lifestyle.

Judge Murrough Connellan refused to suspend the sentence, saying Newsome had put a "considerable amount of thought and effort" into the fraud.

Newsome, of Marlton Grove, Wicklow Town, admitted a charge of making gain by deception at AIB Bank, Abbey Street, Wicklow, on October 28, 2008.

The court heard Newsome went to AIB and lodged into her current account a personal cheque she had drawn on her TSB account. Knowing that there were insufficient funds to honour the cheque, she transferred the money by internet banking to another account and withdrew it.

She had since undertaken a scheme of repaying the banks by instalment.

Newsome had been married and got used to her lifestyle but after separation, her income was "outstripped by her outgoings and she found herself in this position", her lawyer said.

She was the sole carer of two teenage children, had no previous convictions and had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.

Judge Connellan said that it was "clearly thought out and deliberately done. It is not something that the court can deal with lightly".

When the judge refused to suspend the sentence, Newsome broke down in tears, crying: "Please, I'm begging you."

Recognisances were fixed and Newsome left the court on bail pending an appeal.