THE EX-BOSS of game company Activision's PR machine has escaped jail after having been found guilty of stealing around £19,000 to pay for her lavish lifestyle.
According to the Daily Mail, Kathryn Kirton, 35, became drawn into the glamourous world of public relations and spending other people's money, and extended it into her personal life.
She admitted to stealing £18,963 and to spending it on things like an engagement party, a hen do and a designer handbag collection.
On one shopping trip courtesy of Call of Duty makers Activision, for example, Kirton treated herself to £5,506 worth of new clothes, before writing it off as "specialist clothing" for the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 launch. On a separate shopping trip, also courtesy of Activision, Kirton was found guility of spending an additional £9,437.
The newspaper reported that she was found guilty at Blackfriars Crown Court and given a suspended sentence. A partner in crime, PR consultant Jamie Kaye, was also cruelly corrupted by the world he worked in. He stole only £5,000, though.
Judge John Hillen suggested that the pair were victims of the brash, slap down cash world of public relations.
"You were in a position of considerable responsibility. You bought a large quantity of designer clothing. You spent time in luxury accommodation and you funded your engagement party through dishonest means," he said.
"There was repeat dishonesty over a period of months. There is no doubt your wickedness deserves a severe sentence." He sentenced Kirton to 18 months in prison, suspended for two years, and Kaye to nine months, suspended for one year. Kaye was also handed 80 hours of community service. µ