A former company secretary from Redruth, who was allegedly caught with her hand in the till to the tune of half-a-million pounds, appeared in court last week.

Helen Maria Hart, aged 45, of Alexandra Road is charged with using the money to buy luxury cars, Premiership football tickets and charter a private jet to Paris.

She also stands accused of trying to make £46,500 by fraudulently financing the purchase of a Mercedes in a dodgy garage deal after leaving Truro-based PDP Green Consulting Limited.

Of the 25 counts put before Hart at Truro Magistrates’ Court last Thursday, 18 relate to fraud by abuse of position, three to obtaining a money transfer by deception and two to fraud by false representation.

Prosecutors also say that she dishonestly obtained a return flight between Exeter and Cardiff in August last year with a cheque worth £3,800 involving Dragonfly Aviation Services LLP.

In a separate charge, she is accused of stealing £391,353 from her former employer, between October 2005 and May last year.

Among the fraud by abuse of position charges were a fraudulent payment of £4,985 for 48 bottles of wine and £2,000 for work done on Hart’s kitchen, alongside the £5,990 payment for a private jet charter flight from Exeter to Paris, return.

Using the company cheque book to allegedly pay out £4,752 for tickets and hospitality at a Chelsea v Manchester City match in March 2011 has also contributed to the hot water Hart finds herself in.

Magistrates adjourned the case until July 6, when Hart will return for committal to Truro Crown Court. She was released on unconditional bail.