5 years in jail for mom who stole R1m

2015-10-30 11:15
Delene Singh was charged with theft after she stole more than R1 million, which resulted in the downfall of Kay Makan Electronics.

Delene Singh was charged with theft after she stole more than R1 million, which resulted in the downfall of Kay Makan Electronics. (Facebook)

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Pietermaritzburg - Dalene Singh, 33, was jailed for five years on Thursday for the theft of over R1 million from her employer, Kay Makan Electronics.

Singh pleaded guilty in July this year to stealing the money over a three-year period.

She stood impassively in the dock as the regional court magistrate, B Jaynarayan, gave reasons for his decision not to follow the recommendation of a probation officer that she should be kept out of jail.

At the same time he accepted that there were compelling and substantial circumstances justifying less than the minimum prescribed sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment in the case.

Immediately after sentence was handed down, Singh turned to family members and acknowledged their goodbyes through the glass separating the dock from the public gallery.

The regional magistrate took into account in Singh’s favour her personal circumstances including her age, the fact that she is married, has three young children aged 14, 4 and 9 months, contributes to the family’s income with the salary she earns and that she has no previous convictions or pending cases.

He also took into account that she pleaded guilty and didn’t waste the court’s time, was remorseful for what she did and had made attempts to repay her employer some of the money she stole.

However, he said the court also had to have regard to the fact that she had misappropriated just over R1 million from her employer and had abused her position of trust to do so. It was also clear from Makan’s victim impact statement that her crimes had a massive impact on him. He suffered emotionally and financially.

This resulted in him having to close down some of his stores and retrench staff.

The theft also had serious implications for the staff members who lost their jobs, and their families.

“Many were left without employment,” the magistrate said.

He said the offence was “very serious”. He was mindful of the fact that Singh has children but said he was satisfied that if she goes to jail her children’s rights will not be infringed.

He said there is a family support structure in place to help care for them, including Singh’s husband. “The children will be adequately cared for.”

Singh admitted in her plea earlier this year that she started stealing from Kay Makan Electronics in 2008.

She alleged that when she was initially caught out by the financial manager, Shannilroy Batchu, he did not report her to Makan on condition that she shared the spoils with him. He was, however, not charged as there was no paper trail leading to him.

The theft was exposed by Batchu while Singh was on maternity leave in 2011.

According to Singh’s statement, she gambled away most of the money.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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