A woman who was blacklisted by temping agencies in Oxford because of her criminal activities began a 15-month jail sentence yesterday, writes Colin Fenton.

Viola Sander, 35 of Brookside Court, Oxford, was jailed for theft, deception and breach of a suspended sentence.

She asked for two further offences involving housing benefit fraud to be taken into account.

Oxford Crown Court heard how Sander was working, through a temping agency, for the Post Office for which she helped to organise exhibitions, but on the last day of her employment she stole a laptop computer. She later ran up a bill of almost £300 at the Hilton Hotel in Olympia, west London, where she charged her stay to the Post Office.

At the time of her offence earlier this year Sanders was in breach of a suspended two-year prison sentence for stealing thousands of pounds from a previous employer.

Her lawyer, Nicky Duncan, told the court: "She is extremely frightened by the prospect of prison. She has been taking anti-depressants and has been receiving counselling since her arrest. "She has been blacklisted by many temping agencies in Oxford."

She added: "She has sent her daughter to live with her parents in Germany and her ex-partner is now seeking custody of the child."

Judge Harold Wilson told Sander that a pre-sentencing report had assessed her as being at risk of re-offending whenever personal circumstances in her life became unstable.

Story date: Thursday 02 December

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