Sentencing for the former Isle of Wight finance officer, who pleaded guilty of committing fraud and theft to the tune of £33,874, has been deferred.
Barry Arnett who was defending Joanne Thornton, wife of former Visit Isle of Wight CEO, David Thornton, told the judge at the Crown Court that £17,000 could be paid back today (Friday).
Facing ‘dire consequences’
The judge told Mrs Thornton that there would be ‘dire consequences’ if tens of thousands of pounds had not been repaid by 11th March, when sentencing would take place.
However, Visit Isle of Wight’s prosecutor told the judge that the tourism company had lost an additional £28,000 in hours spent on investigating the cause of the missing money.
Myles: Making “lies firmly at door of Joanne Thornton”
Following the hearing today, Will Myles, Managing Director of Visit Isle of Wight said:
“Visit Isle of Wight acknowledges and respects the processes the Isle of Wight Crown Court has put in place today
“I continue to assure our Wight BID levy payers that all monies received have been used fully and in the correct manner in line with the Wight BID structure and plans.
“We will continue the ongoing job at hand, namely marketing the Isle of Wight and bringing visitors to our shores, which annually accounts for £286 millions of economic impact.
“Visit Isle of Wight is dealing with this situation, but this is not of our making – it lies firmly at the door of Joanne Thornton, who we trusted, but she stole from the organisation.”
Source: IW Radio