A WOMAN who defrauded two companies out of more than £165,000 is resisting selling her home to pay it back - because she insists it is being paid for by her former husband.

Natalie Johnston took £122,000 from Altrincham property group Fortis and then took a further £46,000 from the Tottington Motor Company.

She was jailed for her callous actions in April last year and released from custody last December.

The money the 40-year-old took was spent on trips to the Lake District, Rome and Ireland and led to redundancies at the Tottington firm.

The woman is now the centre of a Proceeds of Crime Act application which centres on her home in Waverley Road, Swinton

Manchester Minshull Street heard she moved into the property with first husband Darren Smith.

He then let her remain at the property after they were divorced in 2016, with their son, while he continued to pay the mortgage.

The court was also told her second husband, Marcus Archibald, now resides at the Salford home.

Mr Smith gave evidence in court and he was asked further details of their divorce arrangements.

He said: “I could have sold it, I wanted to make sure she was safe.”

Prosecutor Mark Brookes asked him: “She could have sold it if the wanted to?”

He replied: “Yes.”

He also said he was still paying £396 a month on the mortgage.

And he told the court he had also given his former partner £30,000 as part of their divorce.

Johnston, who now goes by the name of her second husband, was also asked about when she first got a restraining order of her assets over her first fraud. She said she believed her only assets were her bank accounts and her car.

Judge Angela Nield asked her: “Do you accept from any advice you have been given the house falls within the ambit of these proceedings?”

She said: “I do not regard it as fair.”

The judge then asked her: “Whether you regard it as fair or not do you accept it?”

She replied: "I don't really know."

The court heard she had also worked for Manchester City between the two postings. The proceedings have now been adjourned and are expected to resume next month.