Claire Wales of Highbarn Horseboxes has been given a 12-month sentence suspended for two years following her conviction for theft and deception in April (news, 4 May).

Mrs Wales was also ordered to do 150hr unpaid community work by Norwich Crown Court on 4 June. She was convicted with three offences of deception and one of theft by Swaffham Magistrates Court on 24 April after taking deposits from customers for horseboxes she subsequently failed to deliver.

H&H has followed the story since early 2006, and spoken to a number of people who lost deposits — whose cases were not eventually brought to court.

“I’ve been doing this job a long time, but I can understand why the victims are frustrated, because sentencing only reflected four incidents in which Mrs Wales took two cheques,” said DC Sally Wright from Norfolk CID, who led a year-long investigation into the case.

DC Wright confirmed to H&H a separate financial investigation into Mrs Wales’s dealings was still “ongoing”.