A TROWBRIDGE cleaner stole more than £3,300 from a Frome businesswoman after cashing cheques, a court was told.

Natasha Brawn, 23, was employed to clean the woman's home in 2018 after advertising her services on Facebook.

But she stole five cheques from the woman's chequebook and then cashed them at a local Cash Converters shop.

The cheques, for various sums, were all cashed between May 20 and June 18 last year, Taunton Crown Court heard last Friday July 26.

Brawn, of Sleightholme Court, Trowbridge, pleaded guilty to writing fraudulent cheques to herself for financial gain.

Christine Hart, prosecuting, said the businesswoman was "shocked" by the scale of the theft from her bank account.

Brawn was caught after she was contacted by telephone by Barclays Bank and informed of the payments.

The court was told that Brawn had other convictions for dishonesty. The total amount stolen was £3,310.

Patrick Mason, defending, said Brawn was doing "everything possible" to get her life back on track.

He added: She is somebody who is a consequence of her history and became vulnerable and got into a relationship with a man who was controlling."

Mr Mason said Brawn, who has mental health problems, has since quit being a cleaner and is now working as a chef.

The judge, Judge Ticehurst, told Brawn to keep out of trouble and said that one day he hoped to see her on the BBC TV Masterchef programme.

Brawn was sentenced to a 12-month community order with up to 20 days' rehabilitation activity requirement, and told to pay £750 in compensation.