AN insurance claims handler who admitted embezzling more than £40,000 from her employer avoided jail today.

Elizabeth Cundall, 57, put the cash into relatives' bank accounts while working at insurance giants Aviva between October 2008 and October 2010.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard she got her hands on the cash by re-opening settled claims.

She was only snared after her manager carried an a routine audit on re-opened claims.

Cundall, of Colchester, Essex, England, pled guilty in January to embezzling a total of £40,967.73.

She was ordered to do 225 hours of unpaid work and put under social work supervision for 12 months by Sheriff Martin Jones QC.

The court heard Cundall was transferred to Aviva’s Glasgow office in March 2004 and was responsible for ‘third party liability claims.'

She was authorised to pay out claims of up to £2,500, but required authorisation for larger amounts.

The offence came to light when Cundall’s manager carried out a routine audit on re-opened files in November 2010.

Prosecutor Derek Buchanan said: “ The manager noticed a payment had been made to a different third party than the one originally on the claim.

“The claim had been settled in 23 February 2009 and re-opened by Cundall on 1 October 2010.

Further investigation found there was another 16 similar payments made by Cundall by electronic transfer or cheque.

Mr Buchanan added: “The payments had all been made to the sons of Cundall or relatives of her sons.

“The payments ranged from £2,350.50 and £2,495.61.

“None of the original claimants had any knowledge of these payments being made.”

Cundall resigned. There has been no repayment of the embezzled money.