Bursar avoids jail after stealing £14k from Stalybridge school
Wednesday 4th April 2018 @ 11:56 by Lee Wild
News Stalybridge

A Stalybridge Primary School Bursar has avoided jail despite using £14,000 worth of school money to help fund her partners drug habit.

Nicola Turnbull, 47, of Denton used funds from Wildbank Community School to purchase phones and tablets which se would then sell on.

During her trial at Minshull Street Crown Court in Manchester, it also became clear that Turnbull had cost the school an extra £3,000 by altering letters to parents asking for payments for school trips. It’s thought that she lowered the price for certain parents that she favoured.

Turnbull admitted that she had stolen the money but blamed it on being forced to pay for her current partners drug addiction and claimed he was blackmailing her, threatening to go to the police if she didn’t pay.

She pleaded guilty to three counts of fraud by false representation and was handed a nine month jail sentence, suspended for 12 months and ordered to complete 180 hours of unpaid work. A Proceeds of Crime Hearing will take place at a later date.

The scam was discovered by the then acting head, now headteacher, Jenny Callaghan. In a statement to the Tameside Reporter she said they were disappointed at the abuse of trust but reassured parents that the school was moving forward. She said: “Since the financial irregularities were discovered in November 2016, there have been significant changes within the school.  We have worked closely with the Local Authority to ensure we have robust and rigorous systems in place. 

“The staff and Governors  feel let down by this abuse of trust.  At Wild Bank  Community School  we put our pupils at the heart of everything we do, and we will continue to move forward with our positive ethos for the benefit of all our children and their families.”