The treasurer of a school parent council embezzled almost £1,000 raised by pupils during a sponsored walk.
Emma Malcolm was tasked with banking the cash, which was intended to help provide resources for Balhousie primary.
However the money was never deposited in the account and the 36-year-old made numerous excuses to avoid attending the bank as part of an investigation.
At Perth Sheriff Court the mother-of-three narrowly escaped a jail sentence.
Depute fiscal Bill Kermode told the court: “Balhousie Primary is a small school in Perth and is not well funded. The parent council had organised a sponsored walk for the children to raise funds and when that was completed the children brought the money into school to be collected and counted.
“The accused and other witnesses met at Ms Hutcheson’s home and the money was officially handed to the parent council and they signed a document to say the transaction had been completed. The accused was tasked with taking the money to the bank on Dunkeld Road.
“Ms Hutcheson decided to go through the accounts to check funds and noticed the sponsorship money was not showing on the bank statement.
“She told the school principal who stated the police should be called but Ms Hutcheson decided to hold off calling them and contacted the accused.”
Mr Kermode said Malcolm had repeatedly insisted that the money had been deposited in the account and made several excuses to avoid going to the bank with Ms Hutcheson to investigate.
The matter was then reported to the police and a check of CCTV showed Malcolm had not visited the bank.
Solicitor Billy Somerville, defending, said: “Clearly she is someone in a position of denial and it took time to accept what she had done and she kept this all from her family.”
Sheriff William Wood told Malcolm that her position with the parent council made the offence more serious.
He said: “Although this is not the largest sum of money stolen by someone appearing in this court because of the breach of trust involved it’s a more serious offence. It’s the type of case that might attract a custodial sentence.
“It is a very serious matter to breach the trust of and organisation but this money was to benefit children.”
Malcolm, of The Rookery, Perth, admitted embezzling £988.60 from Balhousie primary school between May 25 2017 and June 20 that year.
Sheriff Wood ordered Malcolm to repay the stolen money and to carry out 160 hours of unpaid work. She was also place on a two-year supervision order.