In the Media

Nanny guilty of stealing more than ?6,000 from aristocrat

PUBLISHED November 4, 2011

Beatrice Dalton given 12-month suspended sentence for theft from employer Lady Louisa Collings, heir to Goodwood estate A nanny who stole more than ?6,000 from her employer has avoided an immediate jail sentence. Beatrice Kate Dalton plundered the bank account of Lady Louisa Collings, heir to the sprawling Goodwood estate, in West Sussex. The ?7-an-hour nanny insisted she had only ever taken cash that she was already owed. Lady Collings, daughter of the 10th Duke of Richmond, employed Dalton to look after her four children at her country home in Presteigne, Wales. Dalton was treated as one of the family and given a second-hand Peugeot car in gratitude for her loyal service, a court heard. But the aristocrat called in the police after discovering more than ?12,000 missing from their private accounts. Dalton, from Penarth, Glamorgan, admitted to "hating being poor" and felt embarrassed by the gift ? so she stopped claiming her weekly wage in a bid to pay for it herself. When she found she could not live without an income she claimed she began helping herself to cash she calculated was "owed" to her. Dalton, 25, had faced six separate charges for fraud, amounting to more than ?12,000, covering a period between April 2009 and 2010. She was cleared of five counts. The single charge of which she was found guilty, which was the most serious, was that of using a credit card to dishonestly withdraw ?6,600. Judge Richard Twomlow said Dalton had abused the trust of the Collings family in "a cynical and disgraceful way". He said the offence was so serious that a jail term was justified ? but opted to suspend her sentence. "The seriousness of this offence was not the amount that you took, but the way in which you breached their trust." Judge Twomlow also said Dalton, who pleaded her innocence throughout her trial last month, had showed a "callous disregard for the truth". He imposed a 12-month custodial sentence, suspended for a year. Dalton ? who left Merthyr Tydfil crown court in tears ? will also have to pay ?4,800 compensation and ?3,500 in costs as well as undertaking 250 hours of unpaid work. Her barrister, Simon Phillips, told the court his client will pay the compensation and costs within the next three months. Crime Wales © 2011 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds