THE owner of a local business says she feels let down by the courts after a judge failed to jail a former employee for stealing nearly £40,000 from the company.

Kelly Ford, of Highbridge, was handed a 12-month suspended prison sentence at Bristol Crown Court after pleading guilty to dishonestly making false representation while employed at Brunel Metrology Services Ltd in Midsomer Norton.

But Nigella Light, company director, said: “We’re very disappointed with the sentence.

“If we hadn’t had money in the bank we would’ve gone under – we’re still struggling from it now.

“We’re just a small company and feel very let down that the judge didn’t give her a custodial sentence.”

Ford, of Sterling Close, who is also known as Kelly Sinclair, was employed as an accounts manager at the firm between February 2013 and April 2014.

The company say the £39,800 embezzlement came to light when it was revealed payments that should have been made to suppliers had been made to an account belonging to Ford instead.