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Lettings manager guilty of fraud - but how much did she take?

A former lettings manager has pleaded guilty to defrauding her agency employers for almost five years - but there’s uncertainty over exactly how much she took.

Local media in Chester report that Wendy Dare - now 57 and from Southport - pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by abuse of position when she appeared at Chester Magistrates Court last week.

The offences took place between February 2 2016 and December 31,2020, when Dare was a lettings manager at Humphreys Estate and Lettings Agency in Chester.


But while Dare had repaid some £36,000 before her arrest, claiming this was the total sum to repay, the prosecution claims the total could be as high as £140,000.

A court hearing will take place at a later date to settle the total sum Dare is said to have defrauded the company, after which Dare is expected to be sentenced at Chester Crown Court.

You can see the full local media report of the court case here.

It makes reference to a so-called Newton Hearing.  

This is a hearing in criminal proceedings when, although the defendant accepts guilt, there is disagreement between the defence and the prosecution as to the material facts on which the defendant is sentenced. 

There is no jury at this hearing, but evidence is called by both parties and a judge or magistrate decides the basis on which they then pass sentence. 

The burden of proof lies with the prosecution to satisfy the court beyond reasonable doubt that their version of events is correct.


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