Patricia Mayo jailed

Patricia Mayo, a campaigner who protested against NHS cuts, has been jailed after stealing £50,000 from the GP surgery where she worked. Mayo pushed the surgery to the brink of insolvency after plundering accounts.

The 60-year-old worked at the Hartwood Health Centre in Hartcliffe, Bristol, between 2011 and 2016, starting on a £40,000-a-year salary. However, when she left it emerged that Mayo began started paying herself an unauthorised £2,000 in 2012, which doubled the following year until a total of more than £50,000 had been stolen.

Dr Dougal Darvill, a senior partner at the health centre, said Mayo had campaigned against NHS cuts during her employment and that the surgery had be left at risk of insolvency. Prosecutor Simon Goodman said a new practice manager and accountant discovered “anomalies” once Mayo left.

Police launched an investigation and thefts dating back to 2012 were discovered. Mayo claimed she had taken around £56,000 but the CPS believe it was nearer to £63,000.

Defending, Emily Evans said Mayo was trying to provide a better life for her daughter.

Mayo, now of Wokingham, Berks, was employed as a practice manager at another NHS surgery when she was jailed for 12 months.

After pleading guilty, Judge Julian Lambert sentenced her to 12 months for fraud by abuse of position.

Rachele Moltrasio

La bella strega

The spelling Rachele might tell you I'm not British, but Italian by birth. I've lived in the UK for 18 of my 37 years, first as a child and then again for the past couple of years. I'd say I'm probably more British than Italian until you annoy me.

I've spent most of my life working in design, one way or another, including working for the most famous name in writing pens in Europe. But alongside my work, I've always had a passion for writing and languages. Life's not perfect, but it brings us goodish times....