A mother-of-three who was paid £1,800 to fraudulently transfer almost £9,000 from a hairdressing academy into an account set up in her name has been spared jail.

Burnley Crown Court heard care worker Ifrat Bi Hussain, 41, had only agreed to become involved in the fraud because she was struggling to support her three daughters and owed money in rent arrears.

Hussain had pleaded guilty to the fraud, which took place in September 2017, whereby emails had been sent to The Academy Hair and Beauty in Malton, North Yorkshire, asking for cash to be transferred to an account set up under the name Bi Hussain and Sons Limited.

Convinced the emails were genuine, a member of staff from the Academy transferred £8,898.50 to a Barclays bank account in Hussain's name.

Charles Brown, prosecuting, said: "It was only the next day the transaction was realised to be fraudulent after a conversation between the member of staff and manager of the Academy, Lindsay Burr.

"The bank was contacted and enquiries revealed that cash had been paid by the Academy to an account with Barclays, and on the same day a transfer of £7,450 had been paid into an account with Yorkshire Bank and a further transfer was then made to an account with Nationwide.

"There had then been a withdrawal of £2,000 and £180 in cash from an ATM in Accrington and £34.99 was left in the account."

When first questioned about the offence, Hussain, of Adelaide Street, Clayton-le-Moors, denied any knowledge of the incident.

However, following further questioning she admitted to her involvement in transferring the larger sum of cash to the Barclays account, but denied setting up the accounts with Yorkshire Bank and Nationwide and transferring money from Barclays into these two accounts.

She also denied knowledge of the emails sent from her account to the Hairdressing Academy, and said she did not know who the intended target was.

Andrew Alty defending, said Hussain had not informed her daughters of the charges, nor had she informed the Accrington care home in which she worked as she was ashamed of her involvement in the incident.

Judge Sara Dodd said: "She needs to be frank with her daughters before they read about it elsewhere. This is a terrible situation she has put herself in."

Mr Alty told the court that Hussain had not provided the name of the other person involved in the case as he had since taken the money and disappeared.

Mr Alty said Hussain was a very proud woman, a hard worker and was struggling as a single mum, and the motivation for her involvement was that she was clearly in dire straits with the rent at the house she was living in.

He said: "She was paid £1,800 and that went on part of the debt she owed.

"She spent some of the money in a butchers in Blackburn, Wynsor's World of Shoes and B&M Bargains.

"She had become involved with someone who had convinced her to assist him with the fraud, and was persuaded because of the debt she was in.

"He has since fled and she does not know where he is.

"Ms Hussain said she had allowed the person to use her bank cards, and had also given him permission to transfer £1,800 into her account as a reward for her involvement."

In sentencing, Judge Dodd considered the length of time taken to bring the case to court due to police investigations surrounding a third party involvement.

She said: "The fraud you allowed yourself to become involved in took almost £9,000 from a business providing training for students who were, no doubt, girls like your own daughters.

"However, you did not spend that money on a luxury holiday but on everyday essentials.

"I accept that you are remorseful and very ashamed."

Hussain received a nine-month community order and was told to complete 40 hours of unpaid work.