Father-daughter duo from Wisbech and March conned employer out of £25,000

Martyn Slender (pictured) was jailed after conning his friend and employer out of more than £25,000

Martyn Slender (pictured) was jailed after conning his friend and employer out of more than £25,000 - Credit: LinkedIn

A father and daughter who stole around £25,000 from their friend's haulage firm in Wisbech have been sentenced.

Martyn Slender, aged 53, admitted to two counts of fraud at Peterborough Crown Court and was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison on Thursday, July 7.

His 25-year-old daughter Bethany Slender admitted to one count of fraud at the same court and was ordered to carry out 125 hours of unpaid work and pay £323 in compensation.

Peterborough Crown Court

Martyn Slender, 53, of Henry Wary Avenue in Wisbech, and his 25-year-old daughter Bethany Slender, of Sycamore Close in March, were sentenced at Peterborough Crown Court (pictured) - Credit: Chris Radburn/PA

Martyn, of Henry Wary Avenue in Wisbech, became the managing director of his friend's haulage firm after falling on hard times. His daughter, of Sycamore Close in March, was also given a role at the firm - as an office assistant and later as a transport manager.

The company was founded in 2015. The previous year, Martyn had been sentenced to 12 weeks in prison, suspended for one year, after admitting to using gang masters to supply illegal workers.

One year after the company was founded - in 2016 - the company owner noticed that the company was beginning to struggle.

He enlisted the help of a business consultant who managed to improve the situation, and Martyn approached him about a pay rise.

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Martyn's request was declined, and according to Cambridgeshire Constabulary, the business began to struggle again in 2018 despite an "ever-expanding" customer base.

The business owner began speaking with potential customers and found they often struggled to get hold of Martyn and Bethany.

He also discovered that the duo instructed drivers to take several cash-in-hand jobs which did not appear on the company accounts, and contacted the police.

Martyn and Bethany are thought to have made more than £25,000 from their scheme.

Detective Constable Mat Belfitt, of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, said: "This was an appalling betrayal of a friend who gave this pair well-paid roles within his business in order to help them out of financial difficulty.

"Their sentences are the culmination four years of hard work to convict these two for the crimes they committed against the victim.

"I'm glad justice has been done today and hope this serves as a warning to others how seriously we take these crimes."

In the 2014 case, Martyn pleaded guilty to contravening the Gangmasters Licensing Act, using workers who may have fallen victim to exploitation.

His case was one of several brought to the courts as a result of Operation Endeavour - a Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority investigation which found there were more than 80 workers from Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Estonia who may have been underpaid or subjected to poor living standards.

An Operation Endeavour raid in Wisbech in the early 2010s (Illustrative only)

An Operation Endeavour raid in Wisbech in the early 2010s (Illustrative only) - Credit: File picture

In Martyn's case, he admitted to destroying time slips to underpay workers.

His prison sentence was suspended owing to his previous "good character", according to a Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority report from the time.