A JURY has failed to reach a verdict in the trial of a man whose wife stole up to £200,000 from her employers to help pay for their glitzy wedding reception at a top Fylde hotel.
Part-time accounts assistant Kirsty Lane, 29, channelled funds from her employer’s bank account into her own but claimed her husband had no knowledge of her crimes.
Her fraud was uncovered just days after she married Graham Lane, 36, and celebrated at a swish reception at Mains Hall, Singleton, last January, a jury at Preston Crown Court was told.
The reception included a harpist greeting guests, catering by an award-winning chef, a free bar and a personalised fireworks display.
Mr Lane (pictured with his wife outside court), 36, claimed he had no idea his wife had illegally transferred the money into their personal bank accounts.
He told Preston Crown Court he thought it had come from her savings and work bonuses.
Mr Lane denied laundering more than £70,000 paid by his wife into his account by knowing or suspecting she had committed fraud.
Suspicions against Mrs Lane were raised by her boss who was among those invited to the wedding.
When the couple returned from a three-day honeymoon break in the Lake District, Mrs Lane was greeted with a letter from Leyland-based Pure Audio Visual Ltd which stated she had been suspended because of suspicions about her thieving.
Mrs Lane pleaded guilty last October to 10 counts of fraud by abuse of position and asked for a further 112 similar offences to be taken into consideration.
Giving evidence in her husband’s defence, Mrs Lane said: “He trusted me. He believed what I was telling him about the money.”
Judge Christopher Cornwall discharged the jury after it deliberated for three and a quarter hours.
He said Mr Lane’s case would be relisted for next Friday to allow the Crown Prosecution Service to decide whether it wished to pursue a retrial.
Sentencing of Mrs Lane has been adjourned to a date yet to be fixed.