A SHOPAHOLIC GP surgery manager swindled the NHS out of nearly £4,000 to pay off her spiralling debts.

Kathryn Blanche, 55, of Keir Hardie Terrace, Swffryd, Crumlin pocketed cash belonging to Aberbeeg Medical Centre for more than a year.

The Aneurin Bevan University Health Board employee was caught out when she went on holiday and a colleague spotted the scam, Newport Magistrates’ Court heard.


South Wales Argus:

Kathryn Blanche. Picture: Facebook

Prosecutor David Cook said: “The defendant was employed as an office manager at the Aberbeeg Medical Centre.

“One of her roles was to bank cash payments made by patients for medical reports and letters.

“She kept for herself £3,882.70. She had been employed by the health board for 18 years.

South Wales Argus:

Kathryn Blanche. Picture: Facebook

“The defendant had began working as a receptionist but latterly as an office manager.

“A colleague discovered the fraud when the defendant was away on holiday.”

Blanche pleaded guilty to fraud by abuse of position between April 1, 2018 and August 31, 2019.

Mr Cook said: “When she was interviewed under caution, she said, ‘I done it.’

South Wales Argus:

Kathryn Blanche. Picture: Facebook

“The defendant said she needed to pay off debts because of an addiction to shopping and spending money.”

Grandmother Blanche was of previous good character with no convictions recorded against her.

In her probation report, the defendant said she was “very remorseful and embarrassed about her actions”.

South Wales Argus:

Kathryn Blanche. Picture: Facebook

She said had an “impulse or addiction” to shopping and had suffered from depression and was “stressed due to money worries”.

The court was told how she was instantly dismissed from her job and was now claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance at £148 a fortnight.

Frank Whittle, mitigating, said his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.

Judge Martin Brown said: “This was a gross breach of trust and she will have to pay the money back.”

He jailed Blanche for six months, suspended for two years, and ordered her to complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

The defendant will pay back the £3,882.70 and £115 victim surcharge at the rate of £100 a month.