Money raised by children through bake sales and a haggis drive was stolen from a primary school’s funds by the treasurer.
Parent Teacher Association treasurer Lisa Sanderson stole more than £1,100 which was supposed to buy books or other equipment for the pupils.
Perth Sheriff Court was told yesterday Sanderson started stealing money from the Craigie Primary School PTA almost as soon as she became treasurer.
She helped herself to £600 which she claimed was used as the float for stalls at the school’s Christmas fair.
Sanderson also took £311.50 raised during an annual haggis drive and a further £274.50 the children had made by baking and selling cakes in the school.
Sheriff Lindsay Foulis yesterday gave Sanderson until August 7 to pay the money back in full and told her he would sentence her to unpaid work if that was done.
Sanderson, 38, of Friar Street, Perth, admitted embezzling £1,186 from the Craigie Primary School PTA while she was treasurer between December 1 2017 and May 31 last year.
Fiscal depute Bill Kermode told the court that another member of the PTA became suspicious when she checked the account balance towards the end of the school year.
He said she discovered the money in the account was far below what she expected and Sanderson was called in to explain what was going on.
Sanderson turned up for a meeting, but failed to bring in paperwork to access the account properly, and she later declined to meet other PTA members.
Mr Kermode said: “The money had been raised by parents and pupils at the school through bake sales and fun runs etcetera. The money was used to buy extras for the pupils.
“The accused was treasurer from October 2017 to May 2018. Her notes stated the money had been paid into the bank account but there was no trace of it on the bank statements.
“They questioned the accused and she simply stated she would pay it back, that it had been on her watch, and that she no longer wished to be treasurer.”
Perth and Kinross Council auditors were called in and discovered that Sanderson had been responsible for embezzling the cash over around six months.
Police were called in and when she was initially quizzed Sanderson denied any wrongdoing. She later gave a series of different excuses on Facebook.
She then sent a letter to the court admitting responsibility and blaming financial difficulties at the time for resorting to stealing the children’s money.
Defending herself in court, she said: “I just regret what I’ve done. I got into a bit of difficulty and I’ve put the money aside now to pay it back.”