A WOMAN who breached her bail and absconded to Turkey for over five years after being accused of stealing more than £5,000 from a cancer charity has been jailed.

Lorreine Kucuk, 48, formerly of Upper Frog Street in Tenby, had been charged with theft by an employee.

It was alleged that she stole £5,238.41 from Cancer Research UK in Tenby.

Kucuk, once a manager of the branch, had been due in court for a plea and sentencing hearing in November 2018.

However, just 30 minutes before that hearing, her defence team received a text message from her saying she was in Turkey and claiming she had been involved in a crash and was unable to fly back to Wales.

A warrant was issued for Kucuk’s arrest.

  • For the latest crime and court news for West Wales, you can join our Facebook group here.

Some five-and-a-half years later, Swansea Crown Court heard that the defendant surrendered herself to the police upon her return to the UK last month.

Dean Pulling, prosecuting, said there had been “a deliberate attempt to evade justice”.

Stuart John, in mitigation, said that Kucuk’s passport had expired whilst she was in Turkey and that she had “lived in Turkey for close to four years without a passport”.

He said Kucuk was only able to return to the UK with help from the British Embassy, and that she had been in “something of a purgatory” since she had been in Turkey.

Judge Paul Thomas KC opted to jail Kucuk for her breach of bail because it was “so egregious”, before sentencing her at a later date for the theft.

Judge Thomas said the defendant had “deliberately absconded to Turkey” despite knowing that she faced “a serious criminal charge”.

She was jailed for 10 weeks for breaching her bail. She will serve half of this in custody.

Kucuk will be sentenced for the theft offence on May 10.