A nursery manager who stole money from her workplace and used her boss’s credit card has been jailed for 27 months.

Charlene van Rensburg, 33, of Maguire Drive, Richmond, was jailed at Guildford Crown Court on Wednesday.

She had pleaded guilty to charges of theft by employee and possessing an article for use in fraud, at Kingston Crown Court on July 28.

Van Rensburg, who was employed by Buttons Day Nursery, Teddington, stole £23,000 in an 11-month period from December 2012 to November 2013.

She used the nursery owner’s credit card for her own gain and accepted cash payments from parents without recording them on the system.

Judge Peter Moss sentenced her to 20 months imprisonment for the two offences and another seven months, to run consecutively, after breaching a suspended sentence imposed at Guildford Crown Court in 2012.

Van Rensburg was found guilty in 2012 of stealing more than £14,000 from her former workplace in Long Ditton.

During her time as manager of Nuffield Health Day Nursery, Simpson Way, from January 2010 to July 2011, Van Rensburg stole £14,499.

After being found guilty, judge Moss handed her a 10-month suspended sentence, a 40-day curfew, 80 hours of unpaid work and was also ordered to pay £4,000 compensation to the nursery.

After her first conviction, her husband divorced her and he has continued to raise their seven-year-old child.

Gerald van Rensburg said his ex-wife has not had any contact with their child since May this year and has not been around since she was four-years-old.

Mr van Resburg said: “This is her second criminal offence, her first in 2012, also for theft.

"She used our daughter to escape a custodial sentence and upon sentencing went out and partied until three in the morning.

“She will serve the time for the injustices for which she has been caught - there have been many other cases of theft against family members and friends and the punishment for those are her own personal ones to bear.

“The greatest injustice for which there is no imaginable adequate sentence is what she has caused her little girl; a beautiful, gentle, kind and loving little soul.

“Here's hoping prison brings her a conscience.

"Here’s hoping those who think their silence is neutral, realise that their silence simply strengthens the perpetrator.

“The victim affected the most in this, is a beautiful almost seven year old.

"It is for her and for me who has soldiered on through all of this for whom I cannot remain silent.”