An accountant stole hundreds of thousands of pounds from a prestigious local hotel - which she then spent on pizza, Just Eat and Amazon deliveries.

Alida Ludewig, 50, from Farnborough, appeared before Reading Crown Court today (June 25).

She was due to be sentenced on a charge of fraud by abuse of position.

However, this did not come off due to a dispute between the defence and prosecution.

Details of the bizarre fraud were outlined in court.

Until 2022, Ludewig was employed as a management accountant at the Donnington Valley Group.

This firm owns the Donnington Valley Hotel and Spa, regarded as one of the most luxurious hotels in Berkshire.

Between 2018 and 2022, Ludewig racked up hundreds of thousands of pounds of debt on company credit cards.

The precise cost of her fraud is in dispute, with Ludewig claiming she spent around £400,000 - while the prosecution charge that she stole a total of £543,782.

Given the enormous scale of the fraud, the defendant's spending habits were relatively mundane, mostly consisting of Domino's, Amazon and Just Eat orders.

These all took place over a period of just four years.

Today, the defence and prosecution in the case agreed to hold off sentencing until a Newton hearing on November 15.

This juryless hearing will not assess whether Ludewig actually committed the fraud - as she has already accepted the charge against her.

Rather, it will seek to clarify the precise amount she stole, with Judge Neil Millard describing it as "essentially a trial of guilt."

Ludewig has no previous convictions to her name, and has suffered from serious ill health of late.

Judge Millard acknowledged this, while stressing that the case has been rumbling on for two years now.

He told Ludewig: "There is a reality that has to be faced - and I know your health hasn't been particularly well. But this matter needs to be brought to a head, and further delay isn't going to help your health overall."

Fraud by abuse of position occurs whenever a person in a position of trust - such as an employee - 'dishonestly' abuses that confidence for financial gain.

It is a particularly serious offence, carrying a maximum sentence of up to 10 years in prison under the Fraud Act of 2006.