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Jail term for director caught funding his addictions

The finance director of a Yorkshire-based heating and ventilating company has been jailed for defrauding the firm out of more than £150,000.

Ross Ollerenshaw, 32, admitted a series of theft and fraud charges in connection with his position at the IES Energy Group of Brighouse, when he appeared before Bradford Crown Court.

He was sent to prison for two years eight months.

The court was told the fraud had caused so much damage that a subsidiary company had to be closed with job losses and that company owner Jim Cunliffe had to remortgage his house.

Evidence was given that Ollerenshaw, who had been responsible for staff salaries, had overpaid himself by £158,000 over a three- year period from November 2006 to July 2009.

He took the money from IES Energy Group and subsidiary company Oakwood Developments Yorkshire.

He used the money to pay for drugs and to buy alcohol, the court heard.

Prosecutor Alisha Kaye said: “The defendant’s behaviour has had a significant and devastating effect on Mr Cunliffe, his company and his family.”

In mitigation it was said that Ollerenshaw had acted dishonestly because of his addictions.

Defence barrister Neil Murphy said: “The key factor was the abuse of Class A drugs and alcohol.”

But jailing him Recorder Peter Babb said: “Perhaps this gives an indication of the sort of difficulties that can arise when people get themselves involved heavily with alcohol or Class A drugs.”

After the case Mr Cunliffe, who had been recovering from a serious illness when the fraud came to light, told local media: “He got away light, considering the damage he has caused. But I have got some closure now at least. Now we are going to try and make sure the business goes forward.”

IES Energy Group is a specialist in the design, supply and installation of heating, air conditioning, ventilation and garage services systems for the industrial and commercial sectors.


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