A Leeds primary school worker stole £31,000 worth of school funds and dinner money to pay debts, and fund online gambling and bingo, a jury heard.
Claire Mosby, 38, is alleged to have abused her position as office manager at Swarcliffe Primary School by stealing cash from a safe over a two-year period.
Mosby, a former associate governor of the east Leeds school, took cash which had been collected from parents to pay for school dinners, after-school clubs and pupils’ trips.
Mosby, of Swarcliffe Avenue, Leeds, is on trial at Leeds Crown court where she denies theft. Peter Hampton, prosecuting, said the offences took place over a two-year period between March 2009 and March 2011 at a time when her role involved managing the school’s finances.
Mr Hampton said the missing money was funds collected for school dinners, takings from the school’s nursery, breakfast club, after school club and a voluntary fund, made up of contributions to pay for extras such as school trips.
The jury heard suspicions were first raised by council-employed school finance over, Kate Davison, over low income levels in the school’s dinner money account.
Miss Davison then tried to arrange a meeting with Mosby over the next few months but formed the view that Mosby was being “obstructive.”
When she finally managed to analyse the accounts she discovered a £17,000 shortfall, which Mosby was unable to provide an explanation for.
In March 2011 the school’s safe was searched and envelopes, which had Mosby’s hand writing on, were found to have money missing. Mosby was suspended from duty the next day and police were informed.
Mr Hampton said her bank account details showed expenditure linked to online gambling and bingo websites, payments to loan companies and cash withdrawals from a machine close to Mecca Bingo in Leeds.
Mosby later admitted that she had loans from doorstep lenders.
Mosby was interviewed and said she knew that money was going missing from the safe but it had nothing to do with her.