A JAILED former town clerk has failed in her bid to reduce her sentence - after judges were told the people of Brierley and Grimethorpe would be paying the debt for at least 20 years.

Jan Cooper, 52, of Wadsley Lane, Hillsborough, Sheffield, dishonestly applied for £695,000 of loans in Brierley Town Council's name, keeping £295,000 of it for herself.

Cooper admitted four frauds and one theft and was jailed for eight years at Sheffield Crown Court last October.

She appealed the sentence but was told by judges at London's Court of Appeal that her offences were too serious to justify anything less.

"This was a very unusual and extremely serious case of fraud, committed in breach of trust by a public servant, which had massive consequences for the local community," said Mr Justice Spencer.

The court heard she had a previous conviction for stealing £800,000 from a former employer, but did not disclose the fact when she applied for the town clerk job.

"This was a case which required a severe sentence and her sentence was properly severe," Mr Justice Spencer added. "We find it impossible to say that the judge's starting point was in any way excessive."