A THIEVING financial advisor who stole £225,000 from her employer has been ordered to pay back a tenth of what she took.

June Watson was jailed for four-and-a-half years in January after a jury found her guilty of two counts of theft from Accrington-based companies ABN Financial Ltd and ABN Property Partnerships.

The trial heard how Watson, who was best friends with company owner Yvonne Cannings, had displayed a ‘serious breach of trust’ towards her employers by stealing the money.

Now, a judge has ordered Watson to pay back £23,213.21 during a proceeds of crime hearing at Preston Crown Court.

Appearing via videolink, Watson was told she would face another 12 months in jail if she failed to make the payment.

Prosecuting, Emma Kehoe said: “The value of Ms Watson’s pension, when the enquiry was made by the financial investigator, was £17617.69.

"This number may alter as months have passed.

“There are some items of jewellery that form part of the assets. Once they have been received and the money paid, the defendant’s family wish to buy them back as they are of sentimental value.

“That will be allowed once an independent evaluation has taken place.

“Another item that was identified was a fake Rolex – the prosecution asks that this is subject to a forfeit order.”

During the trial, the court heard how officers found several luxury items at Watson’s house, including the confiscated jewellery and handbags.

Watson was arrested after a meeting took place between Ms Cannings and the company’s bank manager, after concerns were raised about ‘significantly and persistently’ overdrawn accounts. The court heard bank statements showed there were withdrawals using company cash cards.

Only Watson and Ms Cannings knew where the company cash cards were kept and knew the cards’ PINs.

Judge Andrew Jefferies QC said: “The amount of money available is £23,213.21. I therefore make a confiscation order to that sum.

“You will have three months to pay. If you fail to make the payment you will serve a sentence of 12 months conditional.”