Bridgewater, a former financial director (FD), convicted last month of
swindling Bloomsbury-based marketing company Hicklin Slade & Partners of
more than £2m, has been sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty
to 16 counts of theft between 1999 and 2005.
Bridgewater, a lapsed CIMA student, described as a
Walter Mitty’ – after the fictional character who leads a fantasy life,
concealed her criminal past to secure the FD job at Hicklin Slade before she
started siphoning the company’s cash to support an extravagant lifestyle which
included exotic holidays, luxury cars, £2,200 a time meals and a £90,000
Her crimes were only exposed when Hicklin Slade’s auditors identified why the
company was in a ‘parlous financial state’. Bridgewater also admitted two
charges of furnishing false information and one of perverting the course of
justice by attempting to hide assets following a High Court freezing order after
Bridgewater was sobbing as recorder Brian Argyle passed the sentence.
‘Because of their trust in you, they did not check or audit the accounts which
you had done and the performance of the company deteriorated because of the
losses from your stealing. You sat in meetings as staff were made redundant
around you without saying a word,’ Argyle told her.
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