A MUM-of-three who stole almost £1 million from the company she worked for has been jailed for five-and-a-half years.

Amanda Rees, who worked as an admin manager for a Runcorn-based manufacturing firm, used company money to pay for her own lavish lifestyle, including her wedding, cars, holidays and even a hot tub.

Over a six-year-period, the 34-year-old stole a total of £980,673 by transferring money belonging to the firm into her personal bank accounts.

The company, based in Astmoor Industrial Estate, reported Rees to the police last November after discovering her offending.

Rees, of Olive Mount, St Helens, admitted being responsible for the thefts when she voluntarily attended a police station and was interviewed.

She was subsequently charged with seven counts of theft and one count of money laundering and pleaded guilty.

She was sentenced at Chester Crown Court on Tuesday, November 3.

Sergeant Phil Brown, who led the investigation of behalf of Runcorn Local Policing Unit, said: "Employed as an admin manager, Amanda Rees was responsible for the company’s outgoings and had full access to its bank accounts.

"The firm placed a high degree of trust in her for this role, but unfortunately that trust was misplaced.

"Over several years Rees transferred large quantities of money from the company’s bank account into her own accounts.

"The stolen money, which totalled nearly £1 million, funded a lavish lifestyle for Rees and her family.

"Once her offending came to light, Rees admitted being responsible for the thefts and money laundering at the first opportunity to do so.

"When questioned by officers she claimed that she was suffering from depression and had stolen the money as a way of self-medicating, with buying luxury items for herself and her family making Rees feel better.

"She admitted paying for her wedding, cars, home improvements and holidays with the money she stole, as well as luxury items such as hot tubs.

"Rees also admitted volunteering to work from home when on maternity leave so that no-one else would have to deal with the company’s finances and her offending would not be uncovered.

"She is now behind bars facing the consequences of her actions and I hope that this case deters others from committing similar offences."

David Keane, police and crime commissioner for Cheshire, added: "I would like to thank all the officers that have been involved in the investigation for their endeavours to secure this conviction.

"I hope that the conviction and the custodial sentence imposed by Chester Crown Court provides the company that is the victim in this case with some closure."