A FRAUDSTER undertaker whose affair with a Gwent mayor led to his resignation, yesterday admitted more charges of stealing from the business and its clients.

Julie Mason hit the headlines earlier this year when she was jailed for frauds totalling more than £35,000 while working as a funeral director. After she was released from jail her lover, the then Chepstow mayor Alun Fuller, resigned from his post and the town council.

But publicity surrounding that case led to more people coming forward with their suspicions about Mason, and police arrested her again. Yesterday, at Newport magistrates court, the 38-year-old, of Tudor Court, Undy, admitted two counts of theft and two of fraud.

Jean Munton, prosecuting, said Mason was the funeral director at Robert Howells and Sons, of Newport Road, Caldicot, where she had worked for 13 years.

She set up a funeral plan for a 71-year-old woman who got Mason to fill out the £1,540 cheque because she was partially-sighted.

The undertaker made out the cheque to herself instead of the firm. Mason also kept £151 in funeral donations which she had been given by a widow to pass on to the cardiology fund at the Royal Gwent Hospital.

Mason was jailed for three months in February for similar offences. "A lot of publicity was generated at the time and then other people became suspicious and came forward," said Mrs Munton.

"As a result these charges have been brought." On two other occasions Mason altered cheques payable to the firm for £114 and £745 to her own name.

Mrs Munton said: "A substantial breach of trust was involved. An old woman thought she had peace of mind in regard to her funeral if something should happen to her but the funeral plan did not exist.

Andrew Twomlow, defending, said the offences were serious but could be dealt with by magistrates rather than being sent to the crown court. The case was adjourned to August 27 for a pre-sentence report to be prepared.

Mason and Alun Fuller, who left his second wife Penny, set up home together following her release from jail on licence in March. They told the Argus the three weeks she had spent in prison had made their love stronger.