Woman stole from school PTA

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A woman has been ordered to pay back the money she stole from a primary school’s parent teacher association.

Amy Parker, 34, of Kesteven Road, Stamford admitted stealing £3,100 from St Augustine’s Roman Catholic Primary School PTA, when she appeared before magistrates in Boston.

Jim Clare, prosecuting, said Mrs Parker had been treasurer of the PTA since June 2016 and one of her responsibilities was to bank any money raised by parents and children for school funds.

He said the bank rang the chairman of the PTA to tell her that no money had been paid in and when she checked, she discovered there was only £750 in the account when she knew there should have been considerably more, so she realised money had not been paid in.

Mr Clare said she then heard from the school that Mrs Parker had been in and had admitted to them that she had not been banking the money raised at various events, including the school’s summer fair.

He said the police were informed and Mrs Parker was arrested and admitted she had been putting the cash into a tin and spending it as she needed it instead of paying it into the bank.

Mitigating, Philippa Chatterton said Mrs Parker had voluntarily gone into the school to say what she had done.

The court heard on Wednesday last week there had been a change in Mrs Parker’s personality following a brain operation in 2010 and that she was now bi-polar.

She said a series of events in 2016 led to the breakdown of her marriage, she was also taking care of her brother who was ill as well as caring for her 89-year-old grandmother, on top of a full-time job.

Ms Chatterton said Mrs Parker’s role as treasurer of the PTA was a voluntary one and she had not realised when she agreed to take on the role that she would have to take care of so much money.

She said that at the time, because of her own breakdown, she had not been able to leave the house and so had put the money in a tin to pay in later, but she ‘borrowed’ the money to pay bills, intending to pay it back later. She failed to do so until she realised she had ‘just taken too 
much’.

Ms Chatterton said Mrs Parker did offer to pay the money back in instalments but the police were informed.

“It was never her intention at the outset to keep the money,” she said.

Magistrates ordered Mrs Parker to pay compensation of £3,100. She was also ordered to take part in a 10-day rehabilitation activity as part of a community order. No order for costs was made.