A man who conned a Failsworth business he was working for out of almost £35,000 has been ordered to pay it all back – but his partner in crime only has to repay a small amount.

Carl Hestford and Fiona Kerr were spared jail at Manchester Minshull Street for the fraud where they used a false Paypay Account while working for Carousel Soft Furnishing Limited.

The court heard Hestford had taken a job after a prison sentence when the company owner gave him another chance.

The deception of the pair emerged at the end of 2016 when a company wanted a refund and the owner was alerted to the false Paypal Account.

They were described as “valued members of the team” and the company got into financial difficulty because of the scam and there was never enough capital to expand the business.

The court also heard Kerr accepted taking £70,000 and Hestford admitted being involved in £34,984 of theft.

On that occasion Kerr, 36 and from Market Street, Hyde, was given a sentence of two years suspended for two years and ordered to do 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and carry out 100 hours of unpaid work.

Hestford, 40 and from Daisy Bank ill Close in Warrington, was given the same suspended sentence and ordered to attend 20 rehabilitation activity requirement days and do 200 hours of unpaid work.

A proceeds of crime act was called against the pair yesterday.

Prosecutor Charlotte Rimmer said an agreement had been made between the parties.

She said there was to be no proceeds of crime act against Kerr, as she was of limited means.

The agreement was she would repay £40 a month for a period of three years, meaning she will repay a total of £1,440 in compensation.

A proceeds of crime act was applied against Hestford, who was ordered to repay £38,258.40.

The amount he had stolen was adjusted upwards for inflation.

Judge Bernedette Baxter ordered Hestford to repay this amount within a period of three months or face a six month period of imprisonment if he fails to do so.